Taliban Infighting Delays Peace Prospects

Internal Taliban fighting is stalling prospects for peace.

Gohar MehsudSince last week, the Taliban-linked Haqqani Network and Afghan Taliban including TTP top leaders are busy trying to resolve differences between the dreaded Pakistani-based Taliban group, Tehre-k-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The companions of TTP’s two main commanders, Khan Saeed Sajna and Sher Yar Mehsud, have targeted each other’s members in the past 5 months, although this was not reported in the media. More than 40 members have been killed in the past 10 days.

Sajna and Sher Yar are fighting for the leadership chair of the TTP Mehsud chapter, told by a Taliban commander on the condition of anonymity.

The fight between both groups began after the death of Wali-ur-Rehman, one of the influential leaders of the Taliban, who was killed in a US drone attack last year. After Rehman’s the death, his close friends chose Khan Saeed Sajna as his successor, while Hakimullah Mehsud, the late chief of TTP rejected that decision and appointed Sher Yar Mehsud as the Chief Emir for Mehsud-Tribe Taliban, instead of Khan Saeed Sajna.

According to sources, Haqqani Network and Afghan Taliban don’t want to fight among the Taliban groups and this is why they decided to negotiate. The source added that Mulana Jamal-ud-Din Shenwari of the Afghan Taliban, along with his 50 companions, crossed the Pak-Afghan border to resolve the issues between the groups.

During talks from an undisclosed location, TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid told me that the TTP organization has no connections with this fight. It is simply a misunderstanding between two commanders of the organization’s Mehsud chapter, he added.

A group of Taliban are posing in front of Camera, Photo by Gohar Mehsud

A group of Taliban are posing in front of a camera. Credit: Gohar Mehsud

Shahidullah Shahid also said that it is not the first time that two of our commanders have misunderstood each other; it happened in the past and misunderstanding is a natural matter and could happen anywhere. Sahid added that all the mujahideen are trying to resolve their issues and will overcome this situation very soon.

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According to a close friend of Khan Saeed Sajna, Siraj Haqani has good ties with Khan Saeed Sajna and Siraj will never allow them to fight against each other. Khan Saeed is one of those Pakistani-based Taliban commanders who are fighting in Afghanistan since the beginning of the NATO-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Concurrently, the Pakistani government is negotiating with the terrorist Taliban TTP. According to official sources, the peace-process is deadlocked because of internal Taliban fighting.

Gohar Mehsud is a special correspondent for a Karachi-based TV on militancy. He can be reached at gohar.mehsud@gmail.com. In 2012-13, Gohar was awarded the Northwest Community College Initiative scholarship, a special scholarship program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.

  • YasminTheJewish .

    Gohar, good one! may i ask if you are related to Mehsood network?

    • Gohar Mehsud

      Thank you Yasmin.
      yes Yasmin. go ahead.

    • Gohar Mehsud

      Thanks Yasmin,
      Yes, you may ask but let me clear I belong to Mehsud tribe not Mehsud Taliban 🙂