News For Everyone to Enjoy In Moderation, Under Very Specific Guidelines

Lack of transparency plagues selection process for new Pakistani Taliban leader

Following the drone strike that killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud (left, holding the gun, without the shit-eating grin), Pakistani Taliban commanders met Saturday to choose a successor in a process tainted by back-room dealing, voting irregularities, and intimidation.

Hakimullah Mehsud, who served as the leader of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP, or the Pakistani Taliban) since 2009, was killed Friday night in an American drone strike in North Waziristan. Doesn’t sound familiar, does he? Well, you’re quite busy, so one can hardly expect you to pay attention to these types of things. Maybe this impressive anecdote from BBC News will ring a bell, while simultaneously attesting to Mehsud’s driving prowess:

When they met in 2007, [Hakimullah Mehsud] took the BBC crew for a drive, handling the vehicle like a man possessed, manoeuvring around razor sharp bends at barely possible speeds. He finished the demonstration by braking inches short of a several hundred-foot drop. While the BBC crew sat in stunned silence, he just laughed chillingly and stuck the car in reverse to smoothly continue the journey, our correspondent says.

‘What a guy,’ you might say–you sick and twisted Taliban apologist. With a $5 million bounty on his head to boot, thanks to the free-spending FBI, Mehsud enjoyed a particularly ruthless reputation. Among other attacks in the region, he was both behind the December 2009 attack left seven CIA personnel dead in Eastern Afghanistan and, more indirectly, the failed Times Square bombing attempt in 2010. You get the idea: he was a bit of a prick.

Following Friday’s drone attack, TTP leadership met this weekend to choose a successor in a process that, if it hasn’t already, should raise alarm among anyone who believes that transparency and fairness should be the core principles of the closed-door decision processes made by global terrorist organizations. Indeed, the New York Times reports today that just four candidates were believed to be in the running for the highly sought-after post. Furthermore, the decision would be made, said the Times, in “an opaque process rived with tribal rivalry and personality-driven tensions.” No surprise, then, that it was later reported that the new leader will be the long-favored candidate, Khan Said–best known for his role in the 2012 attack on a Pakistani jail, freeing 400 prisoners, many of whom, let’s be honest, you do not want to meet. A decision made in so short a time, with the front-runner so easily winning–in the absence of public scrutiny or careful monitoring by the international community–will undoubtedly be damaging to the reputation of the Pakistani Taliban. Until the Pakistani Taliban makes drastic changes to what is a disturbingly exclusive and secretive process for selecting its leaders, it will continue to be an international pariah.

That the process to choose its new leader was not subject to open debate across all levels of the organization–however limited–is nothing less than tragic. As we see in both the public and the private sector, democratic corporate governance–characterized by accountability, transparency, and integrity–has become an increasingly critical tool for organizations seeking to function in a world of changing technology, innovation, and the persistent challenge posed by an ever-increasing number of voices and dynamic, new means of communication. The benefits of healthy governance are aplenty and the Pakistani Taliban ignores them at its own peril. As a direct result, its credibility now hangs in the balance, and the group continues its reckless march forward–to the point that even Mehsud’s legendary driving skills will soon be unable to prevent the organization’s credibility from falling over the proverbial “edge.”

Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Your name is required

Please enter a valid email address

An email address is required

Please enter your message

The Daily Autocrat © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress