The New Head Of The Pakistani Taliban Is The Man Who Ordered The Assassination Of Malala Yousafzai

Last week, the United States
successfully targeted and killed Hakimullah Mehsud, the chief of the Taliban in Pakistan, in a drone strike in Waziristan.

Today, they named his replacement — Mullah Fazlullah — the ruthless warlord of a Taliban offshoot who is best known for ordering the assassination of Malala Yousafzai.

Malala, a 15-year-old outspoken critic of the Taliban’s tactics in her native Swat Valley in Pakistan, was shot in the head when a gunman boarded her school bus last year.

But she survived, made a full recovery, and has become a transformative figure for human rights and access to education.

That Fazlullah was picked to lead the Taliban may represent a couple of things. Just as Malala is a hero to those who would like to see reform in Pakistan, Fazlulla is a hero to the hardliners holding the region back.

It also, at least for now, kills any hopes of the peace talks Mehsud was trying to foster before his death.

A Taliban spokesman reportedly told the BBC that they will reject peace talks and vowed revenge for Mehsud’s death.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.