“Now I am dead sure he is alive. I personally held a meeting with him and found him safe and sound,” The News quoted the unnamed commander, as saying.
He said the Taliban ‘shura’ (council) has advised Hakimullah to maintain silence after reports of his death surfaced in the media earlier last month.
“Now I will prove to them that I am alive but will ask them to explain why they declared me dead, these reports hurt my fellow fighters as well as friends and relatives having no direct access to me,” the commander quoted Hakimullah, as saying.
Hakimullah had released an audiotape confirming he was alive, just two days after media reported that he has died of injuries sustained during a US drone strike in North Waziristan on January 14.
Last week, another rumour surfaced that Maulvi Noor Jamal, a local Taliban commander in the restive Orakzai tribal agency, had replaced Hakimullah.
Islamabad: While Pakistani and US officials are uncertain over the fate of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakeemullah Mehsud, a Taliban commander has claimed that the extremist chieftain in well and alive and would soon release a video tape to prove that he has not died in US drone attack.
First Published: Saturday, February 13, 2010, 16:00