Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) have rejected Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as IS as Caliph, head of the state according to a statement released on Sunday. According to the BBC,
“he emerged as the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, one of the groups that later became Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), in 2010, and rose to prominence during the attempted merger with al-Nusra Front in Syria.
He did not swear allegiance to the leader of the al-Qaeda network, Zawahiri, who had urged ISIS to focus on Iraq and leave Syria to al-Nusra.”
On 29 June 2014, ISIL announced the establishment of a world-wide Caliphate with al-Baghdadi as the Caliph.
TTP who are fighting for a Sharia based system according to the Quran, although an independent group, have traditionally allied with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Afghan Taliban) who also rejected al-Baghdadi. IEA have been involved in fierce fighting with Wilayat Khorasan, the IS linked group in Afghanistan/Pakistan. Earlier this year, as Reuters stated, “the Afghan Taliban sent a letter to al-Baghdadi to stop recruiting in Afghanistan, saying there is room for only ‘one flag, one leadership’ in their fight to re-establish strict Islamist rule.”
Back in 2014 several commanders from TTP defected from their group to join Wilayat Khorasan and later released a video giving allegiance to al-Baghdadi in early 2015 see,
“Are IS gaining a foothold in AfPak? New video release shows some allegiance in the region”
TTP have now stated reasons why they reject al-Baghdadi, published in Dawn media,
“Baghdadi is not Khalifa (caliph) because in Islam, Khalifa means that he has command over all the Muslim world, while Baghdadi has no such command; he has command over a specific people and territory,” the Pakistan Taliban said in the statement.
“Baghdadi is not an Islamic Khalifa because his selection is not according to Islamic rules,” the statement said, adding that the IS leader had little control in Muslim countries like Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan.
“Baghdadi’s caliphate is not Islamic because in a real caliphate you provide real justice while Baghdadi’s men kill many innocent mujahideen (fighters) of other groups”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.