Nearly three months ago, the US offered a $5 Million reward for information leading to the capture or killing of Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban. Fazlullah rose to power as the leader of Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) following the capture of Sufi Muhammad in 2002, eventually becoming the leader of the Pakistani arm of the Taliban in 2007.
Fazlullah was killed in a US Drone Strike in the Afghan province of Kunar Thursday morning, according to Pakistani ISI Officials who spoke to the New York Times.
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NATO also confirmed that Fazlullah was killed, in a statement to Reuters early Thursday Morning.
The tracking down and killing of Fazlullah marks one of the first manifestations of a US policy shift way from bringing the Taliban to the table for negotiations and towards killing their senior leadership. This shift seems to have taken place exactly as General H.R. McMaster left the White House and as John Bolton entered. In August 2017 National Security Adviser described Pakistan as “Iran or North Korea on steroids”.
Pakistan does not support US drone strikes on terrorists within or near their country, claiming that they threaten their sovereignty.