Eye on Pakistan

Qari Zainuddin assassinated

Posted in Domestic Affairs by onpakistan on June 23, 2009

Qari Zainuddin has been assassinated, most probably on Mehsud’s behest.

This is a great setback to the Pakistan army’s war against Mehsud in South Waziristan. Qari Zainuddin was a leading opponent of Mehsud in South Waziristan, and, by some accounts, had allied himself with the Pakistani military against Mehsud.

The military will now receive less tactical support on the ground during itsĀ  difficult invasion; local tribal leaders are now less likely to speak out openly against Mehsud; and it is less clear what the leadership structure in South Waziristan post-Mehsud (if indeed, the army is successful) will look like.

For my earlier post on Zainuddin, see this. See also the first comment, by IZ, in response to this post.

Tagged with: ,

Baitullah Mehsud v. Turkistan and Qari Zainuddin

Posted in Domestic Affairs by onpakistan on June 16, 2009

There isn’t much interesting or informative reportage on the militants in Wazistan, but this Dawn article is an exception (also available here). It focuses on the rivalry between Baitullah Mehsud and the upstart Qari Zainuddin. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about the so-called Pakistani Taliban, and the culture of its ascendency in South Waziristan.

Qari Zainuddin, by the way, recently gave an interview to The Sunday Telegraph. Zainuddin essentially said that fighting a Muslim country such as Pakistan is wrong. The Taliban (he considers himself to be one) should instead fight the foreign invaders in Aghanistan. The article’s author also claims that there would be stronger support within Waziristan itself for Zainuddin (and against Mehsud) were it not for the Pakistani government’s tendency to seek accomodation with Mehsud.

If you’d like to know more about Baitullah Mehsud then the wikipedia page is a good starting point – it is exceptionally well referenced. There has been some notice of the rivalry between Zainuddin and Mehsud in the blogosphere. See this and this.

Tagged with: ,