Maulvi Nazir

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Maulvi Nazir

Maulvi Nazir (aka. Maulvi Nazir Wazir)[1][2] (1975 - 2 January 2013) was a leading militant of the Pakistani Taliban in South Waziristan.[3][4][5] Nazir's operations were based around Wana.[6]

He was opposed to foreigners exercising influence in Waziristan, including Americans and Uzbek Jihadists.[1] The Pakistani military and intelligence establishment considered Nazir to be "good Taliban" as he did not have a particularly anti-government agenda or openly seek the overthrow of the Pakistani state.[7] He was killed by a U.S. drone strike on 2 January 2013.[8][9]

Background[edit]

According to the The Jamestown Foundation, Nazir was a member of the Kakakhel tribe, part of the Ahmedzai Waziris. With an estimated birth year of 1975, he was a dual citizen of both Afghanistan and Pakistan and until 2010 owned property in Kandahar.[1][2] He controlled large portions of South Waziristan and maintained influence in southwestern Afghan provinces of Paktika, Zabul, Helmand and into Kandahar.[2]

Early activities[edit]

Prior to the creation of the Taliban he was affiliated with the Hezbe Islami Gulbuddin, an older conservative group supported by Pakistan's Inter-service Intelligence Directorate during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. He later joined the Taliban and aligned himself politically with Maulana Fazlur Rahman’s JUI party.[1]

With the notable approval of Mullah Dadullah and Siraj Haqqani, Nazir enforced sharia in South Waziristan in 2006 with instructions to his supporters to avoid combating the Pakistani army.[1]

Conflicts with Uzbek militants[edit]

After Maulvi Nazir established sharia his forces, with the support of the Pakistani military, engaged in battle with Uzbek militants of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) operating in the region under Tahir Yuldashev.[1] Although more than 250 Uzbeks were killed in the fighting and others were forced to flee, Nazir stated in a 2011 interview that he and the IMU had reconciled after Yuldashev's death in 2009.[2]

Unification against NATO troops[edit]

In early 2009 Nazir and two rival warlords, Baitullah Mehsud and Hafiz Gul Bahadur, agreed to put aside differences to unify efforts against NATO troops under the newly formed Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahideen, the Council of United Mujahedeen.[10][11] In a written statement circulated in a one-page Urdu-language pamphlet, the three affirmed that they would put aside differences to fight American-led forces. The statement included a declaration of allegiance to both Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden.[10][12]

Rifts within the ranks[edit]

After the death of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed by a CIA drone on 5 August 2009, reports surfaced of infighting within the TTP.[13][14] Mehsud was the leader of the loosely-knit Pakistani Taliban, a militant network comprising 13 different, and sometimes rival, factions. His death created a power vacuum that led to a power struggle within the TTP.[15]

On August 16, 2009, an alleged group of fighters loyal to Baitullah Mehsud, armed with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), attacked a group of Nazir's men, killing at least 17 militants. According to Nazir's spokesman Shaheen Wazir, the attack was so sudden, that Nazir's fighters couldn't even fire back.[16] It was also reported that Nazir himself was one of the 17 men killed.[16] Baitullah Mehsud's camp denied the accusations.[17] Abdul Haq, another spokesman for Nazir said he didn't know whether Mehsud's loyalists or the Pakistan Army were behind the attack.[16]

Efforts against Nazir[edit]

In October 2011, Nazir's brother Hazrat Umar was killed along with several other militants in a US drone strike in South Waziristan. Local residents have confirmed Hazrat Umar's death.[18]

Death[edit]

A U.S. drone strike killed Maulvi Nazir on 2 January 2013 in Angoor Adda, near the capital of Wana, South Waziristan.[8][9][19][20] Bahawal Khan, also called Salahuddin Ayubi, was announced as Nazir's successor.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Hassan Abbas (14 May 2007). "South Waziristan's Maulvi Nazir: The New Face of the Taliban" 5 (9). The Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d Shahzad, Syed Saleem (5 May 2011). "Taliban and al-Qaeda: Friends in arms". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Iqbal Khattak (31 January 2008). "Wazir tribesmen wary of Uzbek militants' return to South Waziristan". Daily Times. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  4. ^ Iqbal Khattak (26 February 2009). "Taliban alliance only against US, says Maulvi Nazir". Daily Times. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  5. ^ "Taliban groups fight for local support in South Waziristan". Daily Times. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  6. ^ Shah, Pir Zubair; Sharon Otterman (18 June 2009). "Pakistan Says U.S. Drone Kills 13". New York Times. Retrieved 18 June 2009. 
  7. ^ Roggio, Bill (17 May 2010). "The Pakistani Taliban's top leaders". The Long War Journal. Public Multimedia Inc. Retrieved 22 February 2011. "Mullah Nazir is a Taliban leader in the Waziri areas of South Waziristan. Nazir is not a member of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan; he is closely allied to Mullah Bahadar. Pakistan's military and intelligence services consider Nazir and his followers "good Taliban" as they do not openly seek the overthrow of the Pakistani state. However, Nazir openly supports Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden, and wages jihad in Afghanistan. More senior al Qaeda leaders have been killed in Nazir's tribal areas during the US air campaign than in those of any other Taliban leader in Pakistan." 
  8. ^ a b "U.S. drone strike kills important Taliban commander: sources". Reuters. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Pakistan militant Mullah Nazir 'killed in drone attack'". BBC. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Khan, Haji Mujtaba (23 February 2009). "Taliban rename their group". The Nation. Retrieved 30 March 2009. 
  11. ^ "Three Taliban factions form Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden". The News. 23 February 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ Carlotta Gall, Ismail Khan, Pir Zubair Shah and Taimoor Shah (26 March 2009). "Pakistani and Afghan Taliban Unify in Face of U.S. Influx". New York Times. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  13. ^ "Taliban Leader in Pakistan Is Reportedly Killed". The New York Times. 8 August 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "Signs of Taliban rift hearten Pakistan, U.S". Reuters. 16 August 2009. 
  15. ^ Khan, Ismail; Tavernise, Sabrina (9 August 2009). "Pakistan Says Feud Kills a Top Militant". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan
  17. ^ "The News". AlertNet. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  18. ^ [1][dead link]
  19. ^ "Mullah Nazir killed in US drone attack". Pak News. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  20. ^ "Pakistan: Drone Strike Kills Militant Mullah Nazir". The Descrier. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  21. ^ Bahawal Khan to succeed Pakistan militant leader Mullah Nazir, BBC, 4 January 2013