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Pakistani Taliban sack spokesman for controversial remarks

Pakistani Taliban sacked their spokesman for comments that could have annoyed their Afghan counterparts, a pamphlet circulated on Tuesday said.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, a veteran spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was fired last month after he said the Afghan Taliban’s Doha office would not have any impact on the militia’s activities.

“He (Ehsanullah) is removed because his comments could have generated mistrust between Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan and the TTP”, read the pamphlet distributed in Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan tribal district.

Sheikh Maqbool Orakzai, a militant commander, has taken over from Mr. Ehsan. A Taliban shura or council took the decision to sack Mr. Ehsan on June 25, according to the pamphlet made public.

The TTP, formed in 2007 as an umbrella organisation for several militant groups in Pakistan, has been facing internal divisions in recent months, according to reports in local media.

The infighting appeared to have intensified after the death Taliban deputy chief Maulvi Waliur Rehman Mehsud in a drone strike in May.

Some reports suggested Mr. Rehman was in favor of opening peace talks with Pakistan’s new government but TTP fugitive chief Hakeemullah Mehsud opposed it.

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