Photo shows supposed new Pakistan Taliban leader, Hakeemullah Mehsud
A senior Taliban commander has challenged Hakeemullah Mehsud's appointment as the new leader of the Pakistani Taliban.
Waliur Rehman Mehsud, the leader of a powerful faction of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, claimed he has been selected to lead by Baitullah Mehsud, the group's former leader who is thought to have been killed in an Aug. 5 US Predator airstrike. Waliur made his statements in two interviews with the press over the past several days.
"Baitullah Mehsud has deputed the organization’s affairs to me two months back," Waliur told Geo News today.
On Saturday, Waliur claimed a new leader "would be chosen within five days" during an interview with the Associate Press. Waliur did not reference the shura meeting that reportedly appointed Hakeemulah and Baitullah's replacement.
Waliur's statements are at odds with Faqir Mohammed's pronouncement on Aug. 21 that Hakeemullah Mehsud was chosen to lead the Taliban after the shura majlis, or executive council, of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan met in Arakzai late last week. Faqir claimed the decision to appoint Hakeemullah as Baitullah's successor was unanimous among the 42 shura members present at the meeting.
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Meanwhile in NEWS OF THE FUTURE: "Pakistan Taliban leader Hakeemullah Mehsudm killed in U.S. Predator strike.