Saturday, 2 November 2013

            Suyash Karangutkar
1st November’ 2013: Islamabad: Chief of Pakistani Taliban Hakimullah Mehsud was killed by a US drone strike on Friday. Hakimullah Mehsud headed Tehrik-i-Taliban (Pakistan). Intelligence Officials told Dawn News that Pakistani Taliban supremo was leaving for a meeting at a mosque in Dande Darpakhel in North Wazaristan when the drone targeted his vehicle and he was killed. His driver and bodyguard were also killed in the attack. Sources confirmed that five terrorists including Abdullah Bahar Mehsud and Tariq Mehsud were also killed while two others were injured.

Although the Pakistan Government has not yet confirmed this killing but Taliban sources told The Dawn News that Hakimullah was shifted to a hospital after the Drone strike but he succumbed to his injuries on the way. Meanwhile Foreign News Associated Press reported that a Senior US intelligence official confirmed the strike overnight saying that the U.S received positive confirmation on Friday morning about the killing. The Pakistan government strongly condemned the attack calling it a ‘violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.’

Even though the White House and CIA have refused to comment on it, the US State Department’s spokesperson, Jen Psaki told The Dawn news that, “We have seen those reports but we don’t have anything for you on that. The reports just came out. We have a close cooperative relationship with Pakistan on various issues, including counter-terrorism but I do not have anything specific for you on Pakistan on this report.”

American National Security Council’s spokesperson Kathleen Hayden said that the American officials are not in a condition to confirm this killing but if it was true then it is a big damage to Pakistani Taliban.

Drone Strikes:-
The Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles which are either controlled by pilots on the ground or increasingly, autonomously following a pre-programming mission. Information with the Wikipedia claims that The United States of America has made hundreds of attacks on targets in Northwest Pakistan since 2004 using drones controlled by the American Central Intelligence Agency’s Special Activity Division. 364 Drone Attacks have been conducted till 2013 which killed 2,830 people.

While Pakistan has repeatedly protested the Drone strikes, the US State Home Departments Legal Advisor Harold Koh stated that the drone strikes were legal because of the right to self-defense.

Hakimullah PROFILE:-
Hakimullah was born near the town of Jandola in South Waziristan around 1980. Hakimullah’s birth name is Zalfiquar. Hakimullah received his basic education from a Madarrasa at a place called Hangu. Hakimullah first came into spotlight after he raided against the Pakistani army. He rose radically after the capture of 300 Pakistani soldiers in 2007.  The initial bodyguard of Pakistan’s Tehrik-i-Taliban founder Baitullah, Hakimullah succeeded him after he was killed in a similar drone attack back in the year 2009. A year later, in 2010, he claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb in Afghanistan which killed seven CIA agents.
Hakimullah had a reputation for being particularly ruthless.

The United States of America had announced a reward 5 million dollars for leading information to capture Hakimullah Mehsud. Pakistan government was offering 6, 00,000 dollars reward on him.

Pakistan’s Opposition:-
In the aftermath of the killing of Tehrik-I-Taliban’s Chief Hakimullah Mehsud, the Pakistani government has blamed the U.S.A for influencing the peace process of Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Home Minister Choudhary Nisar Ali Khan has issued a statement saying that America, along with the terrorists, is framing out conspiracy to harm the peace. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that the government will talk to the organization for access to any agreement.


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