Skip to main content

Pakistani Taliban official raises questions about his demotion

From Shaan Khan, CNN
updated 10:16 AM EST, Thu March 8, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Pakistani Taliban say their deputy commander held unapproved talks
  • They have removed him from his post and demoted him to the rank of regular fighter
  • He says he had approval from the organization to engage in the talks
  • The group's leadership still has not informed him directly of his demotion, he says

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A prominent figure in the Pakistani Taliban on Thursday questioned a decision by the group's leadership to remove him from his position of deputy commander over accusations he held unauthorized talks with the Pakistani government

The Pakistani Taliban's leaders demoted Maulvi Faqir Mohammed to the rank of regular fighter, Ihsanullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the organization said Monday.

The decision to relieve Faqir of his duties followed a written demand from the group's leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, Ihsan said. Faqir had been speaking to the Pakistani government without Mehsud's approval, Ihsan said.

But Faqir on Thursday contested that account. He said he had the approval of the organization to engage in peace talks with the Pakistani authorities.

The Pakistani Taliban, founded by Baitullah Mehsud in 2007, are a banned Islamist group active in Pakistan's tribal areas. They are said to have links with the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda.

Faqir Mohammed said he had not been directly informed of the decision to demote him and would consult his colleagues about it before deciding what his future plans were.

He said he had no plans to leave the Pakistani Taliban and remained in favor of peace talks with the Pakistani authorities.

Since its inception, the Pakistani Taliban has carried out attacks on military forces and installations, as well as on civilian targets in the region.

Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a drone strike in 2009.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT