A week after Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a U.S. drone strike, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has appointed a new chief, Mullah Fazlullah, who once terrorised the Swat region.
Fazlullah’s faction was responsible for shutting down girls’ schools and a near-fatal attempt on Malala Yousufzai in Mingora last year. TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid confirmed the new appointment on Thursday, according to Zahir Shah Sherazi, Dawn’s chief of bureau in Peshawar.
Nicknamed Mullah Radio for his controversial broadcasts when the Taliban took control over the Swat region in 2009 until a military operation forced him to flee, his appointment dims the prospects of any peace talks with the government.
A meeting of the Taliban’s highest council also decided to make Khalid Haqqani deputy for the new TTP chief, according to news reports.
Many names had emerged earlier to head the militant outfit and an interim leader was also appointed.