Following several months of internal fighting, a faction of the Taliban in Pakistan has broken from the group it was announced on Wednesday. This break could complicate the ongoing efforts by the government of Pakistan to negotiate a peace with the militants located in the tribal regions of the country.
The spokesperson for the militant faction, which calls South Waziristan its base and Said Khan Sajna its leader, was critical of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the parent group. The spokesperson accused the TTP of killing civilians and extorting money through a bombing campaign.
The spokesperson, Azam Tariq, said the current Taliban leadership has used bomb attacks in public places, while also extorting money from religious schools and other types of institutions, which cannot be accepted.
He added that the current leadership has given up the policies of Baitullah Mehsud the founder of the Pakistan Taliban and because of that, they were no longer part of TTP.
Mehsud was the founder of the TTP in 2007 as a militant groups’ coalition. He was killed in 2009, by a suspected drone strike by the U.S.
The current problem between the factions in the movement led by Sheher Yar and Sajna started following another drone strike in 2013 that killed the successor to Mehsud, and Mullah Fazlullah took the reins for the umbrella group.
The factions are currently fighting in both the North and South Waziristan and have been for two months.
The Pakistani Taliban is independent from the Taliban in Afghanistan that is battling forces led by the U.S.
The government of Pakistan says that the militants that are homegrown have killed over 50,000 civilians and some 5,000 personnel in security.
The split takes place, as the Pakistani government has been contemplating whether or how to revive the talks over peace with a militant group that has become more and more fractious.
Officials also are considering taking some military action in North Waziristan against the Pakistan Taliban.
Analysts are saying that new infighting could weaken the movement that is already weaker by its internal differences.