Following a meeting of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah
Mehsud’s meeting with tribal reporters last week, the NEFA Foundation has released a brief autobiographical sketch handwritten by Hakimullah Mehsud to provide a reliable account of his life and origins to the media. At Awaam we have posted A Translation of Hakimullah Mehsud’s Autobiographical Handwritten Notes and an Analysis of Hakimullah Mehsud’s Autobiographical Handwritten Notes by NEFA Senior Investigator Claudio with Reporting by Javed Afridi.
Translation of Hakimullah Mehsud’s
Autobiographical Handwritten Notes
October 3,, 2009
[This document is the translation of the autobiographical notes written by Hakimullah Mehsud (a.k.a. Zulfikar) on October 3, 2009. This translation is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is accompanied by a short report on Hakimullah’s life, and the images of the notes themselves, along with an image of his signature, all of which are available at the end]
“Handwritten by Hakimullah Mehsud (a.k.a. Zulfikar) on October 3, 2009”
“Hakimullah Mehsud, son of Abdullah Din Mehsud, tribe Ashangai, sub-tribe Wajikhel. Belongs to two areas: Badar Kotkai in Badar and specific area is Maisher Bore Palgay.” “Age of Hakimullah Mehsud is 31. Hakimullah’s mother also hails from Ashangai tribe and her father’s name is Ghulam Rasool.” “Hakimullah has four brothers: namely Kalimullah, Shaheed (martyr) Ijaz, Atiiq Ullah and Tahirullah. All his brothers are younger (than) him. He has four sisters as well and has married twice.”
“One of his wives hails from tribe Ashangai, sub-tribe Kharmat Khel, while the other is from Orakzai Agency but is not Afridi.” “Hakimullah got his early education from Madrassa-e-Daraul Aloom Shariah and from here I got early education. Besides I also attended school during this period.” “After attending to grade eight in school, I concentrated all my attention towards religious studies. However, when I was reached fifth grade in religious studies, Afghanistan was attacked by the America.”
“Hakimullah was 22, then. One, two or one and a half years after America invaded Afghanistan, Taliban succeeded in regrouping. Hakimullah too was part of the regrouping and the initial war was fought in Mishtha Kandao in Khost, when a check post was attacked.” “Maulana Sangeen and Amir Baituallah led the Taliban in this attack. Abdullah Mehsud of Delay was also participating. Thereafter several attacks were conducted.” “Our activities got momentum and we planned more and more attacks against America. It was this time when My Amir sent me for preaching for four months. Upon my return four months later, I participated in Nowrakh Kalo Shah front. In this battle, Naik Muhammad was very active. After him, Hakimullah played a key role in giving asylum to Al-Qaeda and Uzbek Mujahideen.
Thereafter fought jihad with the Pakistani government in Delay area. 56 of our mujahideen embraced martyrdom in that war.”
“War with the government then broke out in Mehsud area. We went into an agreement with the government at Sararogha in 2004. People yet again started to come into our fold against the
Americans and they included suicide bombers, Ulema, Mufthi and ordinary mujahideen.”
“In those days, Hakimullah under took journeys as far as Hilmand. Jin Sangeen is an area where he spent 40 days and then returned to Kurram Agency. After Kurram Agency, went to Orakzai Agency and then to Khyber Agency follwed by Mohmand and Bajaur.”
“This is the life of Hakimullah.”
An Analysis of Hakimullah Mehsud’s
Handwritten Autobiographical Notes
A NEFA Special Report on Hakimullah Mehsud’s Handwritten Autobiographical Notes
By NEFA Senior Investigator Claudio Franco
With reporting by Javed Afridi
Following Hakimullah Mehsud’s meeting with tribal reporters last week, the NEFA
Foundation gathered a brief autobiographical sketch handwritten by the TTP leader in order to provide a reliable account of his life and origins to the media. Significantly, the ‘notes’ are written in Urdu and not in Pashto, the language with which Hakimullah is certainly more familiar, as to prove the TTP leader’s literacy in the ‘lingua franca’ of Pakistan. Interestingly, Hakimullah switches between third and first person narration without apparent reason, and the result is a curious document that adds to his image as a ‘warrior prince’ who leads his men from the front. The Urdu he uses, however, does not appear to be of the best quality, nor grammatically correct.
Hakimullah pointedly clarifies his own tribal origin and provides information on his two marriages with a Mehsud girl and with a second wife from Orakzai, possibly from the Orakzai tribe, as Hakimullah takes care to point out the girl is not an Afridi. From the narrative, we can evince that Hakimullah first sees himself as a Wajikhel Ishangi Mehsud, as tribal affiliation seems to have absolute priority in this brief piece of writing. Hakimullah also mentions his madrassa education, but makes clear he also attended secular schools until the eighth grade.
The most significant paragraph of this brief autobiographical sketch outlines the early days of the Pakistani Taliban, which, according to Hakimullah, first emerged alongside their Afghan brethren in Khost Province, namely the Haqqani network under the leadership of Commander Maulvi Sangeen. Significantly, Amir Baitullah, who Hakimullah succeeded at the helm of the TTP, is mentioned as one of the early leaders, alongside Nek Mohammed Wazir, the first figurehead of the Pakistani Taliban, and Abdullah Mehsud, his successor for a brief period. Also,
Hakimullah takes care to mention both Al-Qaida and the Uzbek insurgents, with whom he has reportedly been associated since his early days. He also seems to point out that he directly succeeded Nek Mohammed as the paladin of Uzbek and Al-Qaida fighters, even under Baitullah’s rule.
The tribal agencies of Kurram and Orakzai, where Hakimullah established his rule in 2007 alongside Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan fighters seem to be prominent in Hakimullah’s personal geography. It must be noted that Hakimullah’s bid for power, following
Baitullah Meshud’s death, was conceived most probably on the basis of an alliance between
Sunni sectarian groups of the LeJ type, Yuldashev’s Uzbeks, and Hakimullah’s tribal Taliban.
The document provides interesting insights into to what Hakimullah Mehsud thinks about himself and about the Pakistani Taliban movement. Hakimullah signs the document “Hakimullah alias Zulfiqar Mehsud”, the alias he adopted until he became a high profile leader in
Curiously, the sketch ends with the sentence “This is the life of Hakimullah,” and this appears to be another symptom of the fact that Hakimullah Mehsud regards himself as a tribal leader in need of a biographer and a media savvy player who disappeared for weeks after Baitullah’s death before remerging with a theatrical coup alongside his ‘rumored’ opponent.