Name: Khalid Haqqani (not related with Haqqani faction)
- Deputy Ameer of Tehreek-e-Taliban
- Head of TTP Operations Committee
- Member of TTP Ulema Committee
- Current Status: Member of Shura’a Committee.
City/District: Peshawar, Swabi.
Educational background/Alma Mater: Religious scholar, Darul Uloom Haqqania Akora Khattak
- Famous for his ruthlessness and intellect within Taliban circles.
- Was a close confidante of Hakeemullah Mehsud, former TTP leader, and Qari Hussain, the master trainer of suicide attacks. (Both deceased)
- Issued a 20 pages fatwa (edict) on October 18, 2013 against the Pakistani media.
- In October 2008, involved in a failed suicide attack that targeted Asfandyar Wali Khan, the President of the Awami National Party, in his home in district Charsadda.
- On May 13, 2011, targeted the Frontier Corps training facility at Shabqadar, KPK, killing 80 Pakistani soldiers, recruits, and civilians. The TTP had claimed responsibility saying it was meant to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden.
- On 22 December, 2012, suicide bombing that martyred Bashir Ahmed Bilour, the daring senior minister of the ANP.
Khalid being an intelligent individual, recognised the importance of inducing psyops in modern warfare. Therefore, he used the media wing of TTP in the best possible manner, occasionally appearing in different video messages. These messages served as one of the major causes of confusion and distraction within the general masses of Pakistan. In one of his video messages, he tried to elevate TTP’s status from a local.
- In one of his video message, he tried to elevate TTP’s status from a local mercenary group to a global jihadi outfit. In Nov, 2012, Khalid appeared in a video titled “A special message to the emigrants and locals,” released by TTP media wing, stressing that unity was essential to the success of Jihad, and because the enemy recognizes this and cannot defeat the fighters on the battlefield, it attempts to create rifts between them. He urged foreign fighters based in the tribal areas to avoid actions that will turn the local population against them — indiscriminately killing Muslims, and to respect the locals who provide them shelter despite the risks of doing so. Khalid also outlined the TTP’s global Jihadi mission in the same video, saying: “Our ongoing struggle is not restricted to the boundaries of Pakistan but connected to all Jihadi movements in different regions of the world. Now we have people at the helm in the TTP who are opposed to talks with the Pakistan government. This indicates the mood within the TTP.”
This message was seen as an effort to send a message not only to Pakistani authorities but also to different factions of TTP who were fighting with each other.
- In another message, Khalid tried to deceive the masses by issuing a statement about Mullah Omar and Afghan Taliban. He justified the attacks on Pakistani security forces and gave the impression that Ameer of Afghan Taliban endorsed whatever the methodology TTP had adapted against Pakistan. Due to his background from Akora Khattak, the same seminary from where Mullah Omar graduated, Khalid’s message served as a moral booster for his comrades and served as a deception for general masses, in the same video, he tried to put the blame of “suicide attacks” on Black Water and Pakistani agencies.
On September 2013, Umar Studio, the media arm of the TTP, released a video interview with Khalid Haqqani wherein he had castigated the media coverage of the Taliban and accused the Pakistani intelligence and American Blackwater of conducting attacks against innocent civilians in the Pakistani tribal belt. The statement of Khalid Haqqani goes like this.
“The Ameer of the Believers Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid supports the Pakistani Jihad, and there is no truth in the absurd propaganda reported in the media that he is angry with the Tehrik-e-Taliban because of their conducting Jihad against the forces of infidel in the country. Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid sacrificed his government in Afghanistan to protect one person – Sheikh Osama bin Laden. Therefore, how can he betray thousands of others?”
The latest intel reports, however suggest, that Khalid Haqqan is now in favor of talks and being more close to Mehsuds, he shares the same point of view of negotiating the scenario that can end the conflict between these groups and Pakistani state.