Hakeemullah's take over as TTP chief 'speculative': Malik

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Islamabad, Aug.25 (ANI): Pakistan Interior Advisor Rehman Malik has rejected reports about Hakeemullah Mehsud being appointed as the new chief of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

In an interview with the state television, Malik said reports about Hakeemullah taking over the TTP's command were merely 'speculations'.

"If Hakeemullah Mehsud has been elected new Taliban chief than he should come to fore. It is all speculation till he himself comes forward and says that he has become the chief of TTP," The Nation quoted Malik, as saying.

Malik said the there were reports of serious infighting among the leaders of the TTP to gain hold of the organization following Baitullah Mehsud's death in the US drone attack earlier this month.

"Our information is that they have not been able to appoint someone despite the lapse of so many days since his (Baitullah Mehsud's) death because now they are fighting among themselves," he said.

Earlier, TTP spokesman Maulvi Faqir Muhammad had announced Hakeemullah's appointment while claiming that Baitullah was alive.

Muhammad said Baitullah wanted to appoint his successor in his lifespan, so he had asked Hakeemullah to take over.

While both United States and Pakistan believe that Baitullah Mehsud has been killed in a missile hit targeting his father-in-law's house in South Waziristan, the TTP has denied all such reports. (ANI)

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