New Delhi, Jan 26: Mullah Fazlullah alias Radio Mullah, chief of the dreaded Tehrik-e-Taliban has died according to reports emerging from the Pakistan media. Since 2010, this is the third time that the death of Fazlullah the mastermind of the Peshawar school attack has emerged.
This time around the Pakistan media had stated that Fazlullah had been killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan.
There is however no official confirmation of the same and the Tehrik-e-Taliban too has not made any official statement on the same. If he is dead this time, then it brings about a relief for security agencies as he is a deadly operative capable of big attacks.
The Pajhwok Afghan News agency on its Twitter feed stated that Afghan officials had confirmed the killing of Taliban commander Qari Hedayatullah in a drone attack but there were "no reports" of the killing of Fazlullah.
News regarding the death of Fazlullah have not emerged for the first time. In the year 2010, similar news had broken out regarding the death of Fazlullah. It was said that year that he was killed along with six of his accomplices in the Barg Matal district of Afghanistans Nuristan province, which lies close to the border with Pakistan.
This had even been confirmed Mohammad Zaman Mamozai, chief of the Afghan border force for the eastern region.
The second time news of his death was reported was on December 20 2014. It was stated that the jets of the Pakistan Air Force had taken Fazlullah down in Afghanistan. However this news too turned out to be untrue. While the news floated on the media, there was no confirmation from the Pakistan military or air force.
There appears to be a pattern relating to the news of Fazlullah's death. Either the target has been genuinely missed or the TTP itself puts out such news to avoid heat on their leader. For the TTP the existence of Fazlullah is very important as he has by and large managed to keep the outfit united and made it deadlier than before.