Since the assassination of Hakimullah Mehsud by a US drone strike two weeks ago, the Pakistani Taliban factions have appointed a new “compromise” leader, but their second-tier leadership is said to be in growing disarray.
While that’s of course the idea of assassinating a militant faction’s leader, analysts warn it could lead to a major escalation in attacks by different parts of the group as they try to impress followers into pledging loyalty to them.
That’s going to be a problem across Pakistan, but particularly in North and South Waziristan, since they were Hakimullah’s base of operations, and the new leader, Mullah Fazlullah, is the first leader of the faction not based there.
Fazlullah’s spurning of the peace process is also gaining some popularity across the Punjab, where Punjabi Taliban factions are said to be particularly close to him. This could suggest attacks in the Pakistani heartland will be on the rise as well.
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