Mullah Omar sacks Baitullah for fighting against Pak Army
* Maulvi Faqir refuses to be new TTP chief
LAHORE: Taliban chief Mullah Omar has sacked Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud for fighting against the Pakistan Army instead of with NATO forces, Asia Times Online reported on Friday.
The news website quoted Mullah Omar as telling other Taliban commanders to turn their focus on NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan. The sacking comes at a time when President Pervez Musharraf has launched an intense military operation against Baitullah in South Waziristan. Mullah Omar appointed Baitullah as TTP chief, according to the website.
Baitullah has been sacked at a time when the Taliban’s spring offensive is just months away. “The Afghan front is quiet because the Taliban and Al Qaeda militants are heavily engaged in fighting Pakistani security forces in Waziristan. Therefore, Mullah Omar has put his foot down to reset goals for the Taliban: struggle in Afghanistan and not against Pakistan, as was being done by Baitullah Mehsud,” the website reported.
Faqir refuses: It also quoted intelligence sources as saying that Omar appointed Maulvi Faqir Muhammad as TTP chief but Faqir refused to accept the designation after which the local Taliban were holding meetings to find Baitullah’s replacement. Sources told Asia Times that with Baitullah replaced, Omar would use all Taliban resources in the Tribal Areas to dislodge NATO troops from Afghanistan. However, this leaves Baitullah and his loyalists completely isolated to fight Pakistani forces, according to the report. Baitullah is already named by the government as the main suspect behind Benazir Bhutto’s killing. daily times monitor