Peshawar/Miramshah, Sept 16(ANI): Rifts have cropped up among militant outfits in Pakistan's North Waziristan Agency for the first time, according to a newspaper report.
Ittehad Mujahideen Khorasan (IMK), an alliance of splinter groups, has declared members of the Commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur-led North Waziristan Shura as its enemy and agents of the Pakistan Army, the Dawn reports.
The group blamed a few "so-called Jehadi contractors" for trying to keep them away from their objectives, and warned people that it would not back out of its objectives and would take action against any person, even if he belonged to the North Waziristan Shura.
"IMK will pursue its objectives at all costs and will not spare anyone, of influence and position, in the way of its objectives," a two-page statement, in Urdu language, was quoted as saying.
Differences surfaced among the militant outfits when the Shura disowned the Khorasan group on September 7 and expelled it from its rank, the report said.
"We tried time and again to reform the IMK but did not succeed. And finally we have decided to announce disassociation from the group," said a joint statement signed by Hafiz Gul Bahadur and ten other Shura members.
Analysts and security experts said that differences and splits could weaken the position of Gul Bahadur and others in the volatile region, which is considered a safe haven for Al Qaeda and the Haqqani network.
Sailab Mehsud, a Fata analyst, said that growing confrontation between the IMK and the Miramshah-based Shura could prepare ground for military action in North Waziristan. "The move can sideline foreigners and non-locals," he observed.
Commenting on the developments, former Home Secretary Brigadier Mahmood Shah said that rifts among militant groups in North Waziristan could place the Pakistan Army in a win-win position, but it remains to be seen how the government exploits the situation.
"This is good for the army and perfect time for launching offensive in the area", he said, however, adding that Gul Bahadur, who enjoyed complete support of the Haqqani network, had sufficient strength to eliminate splinters. (ANI)