Noor Wali Mehsud is the emir of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) central. He was officially appointed the leader of TTP central in June 2018, following the death of Mullah Fazlullah in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan.
Noor Wali alias Mufti Abu Mansoor Asim, the new chief of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) central was born on June 26, 1978.
Noor Wali Mehsud was 39 or 40 years old at the time of his appointment as TTP emir and with him the TTP leadership once again went to the Mehsud tribe.
TTP’s new leader Noor Wali Mehsud is the author of “Inqalab-e-Mehsud-South Waziristan: Farangi Raj say Amreeki Samraj Tak” (Mehsud Revolution and South Waziristan: From British Raj to American Imperialism), a book that gives detailed history of TTP from 2001 to 2017. The book also claims that TTP assassinated former Pakistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto. Mehsud also identifies the militants involved, including one who is still at large and believed to be hiding in South Waziristan. In the book, Mehsud also confessed that TTP platform was used for extortion, kidnapping and killings to get money to finance the groups’ activities.
In 2014 he had survived a U.S. drone strike in South Waziristan in which eight TTP militants were killed.
In contrast to Fazlullah’s infamous brutality, the new TTP leader has a scholastic and literary background.
Noor Wali Mehsud studied at a number of religious seminaries in Pakistan to specialise in different fields of religious teaching. He served as a deputy to Baitullah Mehsud, who has been blamed for the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
He obtained initial education from madrassa Siddiqia. He received higher education from other Jamia Imdadia, Faisalabad and Jamia Nasratul Uloom, Gujranwala. He obtained his degree in 1999 from Jamia Ahsan-ul-Uloom, Karachi.
Mehsud also fought against the US-backed Northern Alliance in Afghanistan and took part in TTP attacks against Pakistani security forces. Noor Wali stepped into fighting when Taliban suffered heavy losses at the hands of Northern Alliance in Mazar Sharif and Jabal-ul-Siraj.
Noor Wali Mehsud hails from Gorgoray area of Sararogha tehsil and belongs to Mechikhel, a sub-clan of the Mehsud tribe. He also remained a qazi (judge) of Sharia court established by Baitullah Mehsud.
On the advice of his father, Noor Wali resumed religious education after the Afghan Jihad but after the 9/11 when the US attacked Afghanistan, he went back to Kabul with Maulana Miraj-ul-Din to partake in the fighting. He was upset by the fall of Kabul at the hands of the coalition.
After the killing of commander Hafiz Abdullah, Noor Wali was appointed the Deputy Emir of Baitullah Mehsud by the central shoora (consultative body) besides other responsibilities.
During the military operation on September 9, 2004, Noor Wali was given the responsibility of leading the organisation. After the killing of Azam Tariq, he was assigned the task of publicising the party in the media. Noor Wali also authored two books in 2001 and 2002.
Currently, Noor Wali Mehsud is believed to be hiding somewhere in Afghanistan, most likely in Kandahar or Nangarhar.