PESHAWAR: The Hakimullah Mahsud-led Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Sunday announced the removal of prominent militant commander Maulvi Faqir Mohammad hailing from Bajaur as the deputy head of the network.

“The TTP shura met with its central ameer Hakimullah Mahsud in the chair. It felt that the organisation no more required the role of Maulvi Faqir Mohammad as naib ameer. From today, he will be considered a common fighter and will no longer enjoy the status of TTP naib ameer,” TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said. In a phone call from an undisclosed location, the spokesman didn't mention the reasons that prompted the TTP leadership to take back the status of deputy chief from Maulvi Faqir Mohammad.

Asked if Maulvi Faqir has been expelled from the TTP, he said: ěHe will remain part of the TTP but will work as a common fighter.î Maulvi Faqir Mohammad was made deputy chief of the TTP when almost all militant groups from the seven tribal regions and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa engaged in fighting against Pakistani security forces formed an umbrella organisation, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in South Waziristan on December 14, 2007. Baitullah Mahsud was the founding leader of the network and headed the organisation till his assassination in a US drone attack on August 5, 2008.