Wednesday 27 February 2013

State Dept (finally) designates Maulvi Nazir group

The US Department of State has announced, rather belatedly, that what it theatrically refers to as the ‘Commander Wazir Group’ of South Waziristan and one of its alleged leaders , ‘Sub Commander Malang Wazir’ are to be designated as a global terrorists. Steady on boys! This is not South America! A detailed investigation into the various factions in South Waziristan written by Mansur Khan Mahsud of the FATA Research Centre in 2010, makes no mention of Maulvi Nazir's group being known by this name.
Leaving aside the fact that Maulvi Wazir himself was killed in a US drone strike in January, it seems a little odd to me that State has decided to designate ‘sub commander’ Malang Wazir, who is known to be part of the leadership, but has chosen not to mention Bahawal Khan, also called Salahuddin Ayubi, who was announced as Nazir's successor.
Bahawal Khan, said to be aged 34 and an illiterate former bus driver, is a long-time close associate of Mullah Nazir, the two men having fought together alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan before the 2001 US invasion. Bahawal Khan is seen as hot-tempered, unlike his predecessor.

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