Killing Mehsud would deal a body-blow to Pak Taliban’s effectiveness: Experts

June 23rd, 2009 - 5:52 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Washington, June 23 (ANI): The Pakistan Army has claimed that its Swat offensive has been successful with scores top Taliban leaders being killed, but the fate of Swat Taliban chief Mullah Fazalullah and the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud is still under wraps.

Now, the Pakistan security forces have shifted their focus on South Waziristan, the stronghold of Mehsud, and the region where the warlord is believed to be hiding, as experts consider that if Mehsud is nabbed, a large quota of the menace of terrorism would die down in times to come.

Mehsud, who has been blamed for carrying out several devastating terror attacks in Pakistan, including the brazen assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, holds a legendry status among the militants, and if the military is successful in sanitizing him, it would mean a severe blow to the extremists, a report in The Christian Science Monitor said.

Experts believe that Mehsud is the prime force that has been able to bind the different sections among the Taliban together, and if he falls the extremists could also fall apart reducing the formidable threat they currently pose, the report said.

“He (Mehsud) is the center of gravity in the war on terror. If you could take out the leadership, it would be a great force multiplier for Pakistan,” said Mahmood Shah, a security analyst and former security chief of Pakistan’s tribal areas.

It would take another four to five years for any other Talibani commander to reach the heights of Mehsud and carry on working on his (Mehsud’s) aims of crippling whole of Pakistan, it went on to add.

“For another individual to step in and gain that stature would take four to five years,” said a senior journalist, Mahmood Shah.

However, analysts also believe that simply capturing or killing Mehsud would not serve the purpose, as Taliban would have to be rooted out completely to quell extremism completely in the region, the report added.

“It (Pakistan government) would have to kill or capture the entire Pakistani Taliban leadership,” said Rifaat Hussain, a security analyst at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad. (ANI)

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