Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud buried
Islamabad – Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone attack Friday, was buried in North Waziristan, Geo News reported Saturday.
Mehsud’s uncle, driver and other aides were also killed in the attack, the report said citing sources.
They were also buried in different parts of North Waziristan.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) Markazi Majlis e Shoora (Central Advisory Committee) would appoint a new chief, it said.
Umar Khalid, Maulana Fazlullah and Khan Said alias Sajna are under consideration for the top slot, the report added.
The drone attack was carried out in the region’s Danday Darpa Khel area in the evening.
According to Dawn, the Pakistani Taliban chief was leaving a meeting at a mosque when the drone targeted the vehicle he was travelling in.
Mehsud was shifted to a hospital in the wake of the drone attack but succumbed to his injuries on the way, Dawn reported citing Taliban sources.
Mehsud’s close aide Tariq Mehsud was also among the dead, security sources said, while putting the death toll at six.
Pakistan government did not confirm his death but it strongly condemned the air strike.
“These strikes are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. There is an across the board consensus in Pakistan that these drone strikes must end,” Pakistan foreign office said in a statement.
Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan refused to confirm the death of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief.
Khan termed the attack an attempt to sabotage the government’s plan to hold talks with the Taliban.
The Pakistan Taliban have also been demanding that the government get the US drone strikes stopped before talks.
A Pakistan government delegation, scheduled to hold negotiations with the Taliban, had been stopped Friday from going ahead following reports of the TTP chief’s death.
A three-member delegation was to leave Saturday to open formal talks with the militants, sources said.
Hafiz Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group which staged the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the Jamat-ud-Dawa chief, Friday urged the Pakistan government to shoot down US drones to convey a message to the US that the strikes were tantamount to attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty.
“It is incumbent upon the government to shoot down drones” he said, during an anti-US drone attacks protest, and welcomed cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan’s statement in which he warned of blocking NATO supplies if drone strikes were not stopped.
He also claimed that the US and India wanted to sabotage the government’s peace talks with the Taliban.
Friday’s strike was the second drone attack since Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited the US where he demanded President Barack Obama stop the attacks.