Baitullah Mehsud is Dead: What is the Way Forward?

WATANDOST COMMENT: It will not be long before Mehsuds will pick another leader to spearhead the militant Pakistani Taliban, but undoubtedly Baitullah Mehsud's death has served as a serious blow to the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) movement. Already stressed out due to reversals in the Swat region, militants from FATA are already sneaking out of the area in considerable numbers. Pakistan must avail this opportunity to regain control of South Waziristan - and a major military ground offensive is needed for this end.

For Analysis of the situations, See

Mehsud death could signal turning tide against Pakistan militants
The US appears to have decapitated Pakistan's most notorious Taliban outfit, but the war is by no means won
Declan Walsh,, Friday 7 August 2009

For a time, Baitullah Mehsud appeared to have cloaked himself in the historical garb of the Faqir of Ipi, a militant cleric whom British colonial troops spent much of the 1930s and 40s chasing through the mountain passes of Waziristan.

"They sought him here, they sought him there, those columns sought him everywhere," went an old British couplet that equally applied to Mehsud as he shrugged off efforts by Pakistani and, more recently, US forces to kill him.

In June a CIA-operated drone fired a barrage of missiles at a funeral for militants killed in an attack that day. Mehsud had slipped away hours earlier. Now, though, the odds seem to have fatally narrowed.

If the blizzard of reports out of Washington, Islamabad and the tribal areas are confirmed, the US has decapitated Pakistan's most notorious Taliban outfit. Over the two years since he founded the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Mehsud rose from a little-known border warrior to public enemy number one, notorious for mastering the dark art of suicide bombing.

Coming on the heels of the army's success in the Swat valley this summer, his apparent death could signal that Pakistan is finally turning the tide in its struggle against Islamist militancy. But the war is by no means won

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Evidence Mounts That Taliban Chief In Pakistan Is Dead - NPR
Good riddance, killer Baitullah - Dawn


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