Will split in Taliban ranks bring peace, asks Pakistani daily

Will split in Taliban ranks bring peace, asks Pakistani daily

Fazal Saeed, a Taliban 'commander' based in northwest Pakistan's Khyber Agency, has announced his decision to move away from the group.

"However, it remains to be seen whether the militant leader's move will really bring peace to the strife-torn region," said an editorial in the Dawn Wednesday.

Saeed says he broke off from the TTP after disagreeing with the terror outfit's policy of attacking civilians and the Pakistani state. However, he said his group will continue the 'jihad' against NATO forces in Afghanistan as well as the struggle against “anti-Islam elements” in Pakistan.

The editorial said: "Though he has denied he is toeing the line of the Pakistani security agencies, Saeed is known to have links with the Haqqani network which, considered part of the 'good Taliban', is reportedly close to the security establishment."

It went on to say that Baitullah Mehsud's death in 2009 has left the TTP a much weaker organisation, loosely composed of independent groups calling the shots within their respective spheres of operation.

"Resultantly, it is unclear how much actual influence Saeed enjoys over militants, given the fact that he controls a limited amount of territory within Kurram itself.

"If his conditional renunciation of violence is genuine, it could lead to the opening of the Thall-Parachinar road and the end of the Taliban's crippling blockade of the region.

However, if this is not achieved and the people of Kurram are unable to travel freely to other parts of the country, Saeed's statement will matter little," it added.

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