Looks like a planted story, But, the FATA tribes are also known for internecine war.
In a previous life saar, I was a fully paid up, reasonably senior member of the DDM. I would bet a lot of money that, for all that it could be true this story is planted, with the reporter knowing it's likely she's been taken for a ride. But, the story's 'too good to let go', she is thus unable or unwilling to do anything about it (to me, some of her other stories show she's not a 'bought and sold journo').
She's writing the story and will claim credit if it's true - it's too big to let go, but she's also making sure she's covering her a$$.
I've been there before, and
written stories like these.
The following is how I would have written it (in Itals) and how this reporter has written it. BTW you can see the byline at this link:http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?fi ... rldupdates
BTW I am assuming that the byline is correct, hence my assumption that the reporter is a she.
Ok, the problem is that since I'm writing for Reuters, not some bumf@ck news agency out of Peshawar, I can't just write any thing I want or the military tells me; Editorial in Islamabad and Hong Kong (namely Randy Fabi, Michael Georgy and Dean Yates, as you can see at the bottom of the story) will have questions. Better be careful.
Hakimullah Mehsud, a ruthless commander who has led the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for the last three years, has lost operational control of the movement and the trust of his fighters, said a senior Pakistan army official based in the South Waziristan tribal region, the group’s stronghold.
So I'll start by saying my source is a 'senior Pakistan army official', no matter if he's actually the ADC to the ADC to the General; they're all army anyway, right?
Shit, this is getting a little illogical - extreme violence was the reason Mehsud became popular, right? What to do? Nor problem, I will...slip in the name of Mehsud's successor at this stage, and the second claim that he wants to make hot, passionate love to GoP. Of course the matter is so sensitive, we cannot name the official- national security you know?
The organisation’s more moderate deputy leader, Wali-ur-Rehman, 40, is poised to succeed Mehsud, whose extreme violence has alienated enough of his fighters to significantly weaken him, the military sources told Reuters.
Blah, blah. blah- background information that gives weight to the story after so much bull$hit in the first few paras. Possibly dear old editors Randy Fabi, Michael Georgy and Dean Yates insisted on it or wrote it themselves. Likely it is copy and paste background that is added on to every story on the subject.
The TTP, known as the Pakistani Taliban, was set up as an umbrella group of militants in 2007.
His profile was raised further when he appeared in a farewell video with the Jordanian suicide bomber who killed the employees.
Good time to say I interviewed not one! not two! but 'several senior Pakistan military officials' !!! Tribal elders!!! Locals!!! See Daddy, I did my homework!!!
Reuters interviewed several senior Pakistan military officials as well as tribal elders and locals during a three-day trip with the army in South Waziristan last week, getting rare access to an area that has been a virtual no-go zone for journalists since an army offensive was launched in October 2009.
Of course not, they are busy killing fellow Pakistanis.
Pakistani Taliban commanders did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the possible leadership change.
Those pesky US officials, letting their analysis get in the way of a good story. You know what, they aren't exactly clued in either, based on the cr@p they've pulled before. Gotta add what they said, though, I'm working for Reuters, gotta cover all the bases.
US officials said that while Rehman was Mehsud’s natural successor, they cautioned about expecting an imminent transition. Mehsud’s standing in the Pakistani Taliban might have weakened, but he still had followers, they said.
Oops, I may have made a mistake there- I said earlier in the story that Taliban were not speaking to me; now it seems they are. Sloppy, sloppy, hope the editorial desk misses this. Maybe I'll claim that Pakistan Taliban did not speak to me, this is the 'good' Taliban..hoep that makes sense later on.
“Rehman has even held secret negotiations with the Pakistani government in the past but Hakimullah always stood in his way, wanting to carry on fighting the Pakistani military,” a second Wana-based military official said.
The two were at each other’s throats earlier this year and hostilities were close to open warfare, Taliban sources said.
Back to military sources who claim the successor, the veritable crown price Wali-what-ever is like Rodin's thinker.
“If a leader doesn’t behave like a leader, he loses support. For the longest time now, Hakimullah has done the dirty work while Wali-ur-Rehman is the thinker. Taliban fighters recognise this,” said the first Pakistani military source.
I just realized that I've quoted mostly military sources; I'm working for Reuters! I need more diverse sources! Ok how about 'a local elder and a local shopkeeper. Notice they're both 'local', eh, eh? As opposed to a shopkeeper in Islamabad, or a Pakistani Army elder.
A local elder described Mehsud as “short-tempered and trigger-happy”.
“(Mehsud) used to work 24 hours a day, tirelessly. But he would also put a gun to anyone’s head and kill them for his cause,” said a local shopkeeper who has family members involved in the Pakistan Taliban.
By the way, my 'local' sources only say Mehsud is short tempered and brutal...no local source actually said he was losing power to Wali-whosit, not even off the record That could f*ck up my entire story. Hopes no one notices.
Gotta go- bye now.