|History and Biodata
Hafiz Gul Bahadur was born 1961. He a direct descendant of Mirza Ali Khan,a legendary Waziristani freedom fighter who fought against the British Indian government and later against the newly established Pakistani State. Bahadur is a member of the Pashtun Madda Khel clan of the Uthmanzai Waziris (Pakistan). Educated in a Deobandi Madrassa located in Multan, he is affiliated with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) political party. His self-designation as a Hafiz, or one who has memorized the entire Qur’an, suggests that his religious education plays an important role in his thinking.
Bahadur’s ability to combine political acumen and charisma with local tribal ties gave him a strong foundation for acquiring power. Bahadur is one of the leaders of the Utmanzai Wazir tribe, who reside primarily in North Waziristan. Reports suggest that Utmanzai Wazirs have historically exhibited more unity than other tribes, perhaps providing Bahadur with a relatively stable base. Within the Utmanzai Tribe, Bahadur probably belongs to the Madda Khel subgroup, part of the Ibrahim Khel branch. Bahadur’s men, reported to be some of the fiercest fighters in North Waziristan, have been reported to number several thousand.
Bahadur has used his ability to negotiate peace agreements in his area to expand the influence he had because of his tribal leadership. He has frequently served as chief negotiator, giving him significant control over post-ceasefire situations; negotiations have also served as tools whose short-term nature and exacting terms Bahadur uses to ensure that both the Pakistani military and Taliban leaders like Mehsud continue to woo him.
Bahadur fought in Afghanistan during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and later during the rule of the Taliban.
He is the leader of a Pakistani Taliban faction based in North Waziristan. Upon the formation of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in December 2007, he was announced as the militant group's overall Naib Amir under Baitullah Mehsud, who was based in South Waziristan, but has largely distanced himself from the TTP due to rivalries with Mehsud and disagreements about the TTP's attacks against the Pakistani state. In August 2001 he recruited about 4,000 volunteers to oppose the proposed placement of United Nations monitors, who were to prevent the flow of weapons from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Gul Bahadur objected because the monitors would have hampered the ability of Pakistani Pashtuns to support the Afghan Taliban against the Northern Alliance. (The volunteer militia was never deployed, however, due in part to reprecussions of the 9/11 attacks). Hafiz Gul Bahadur is closely allied with Sirajuddin Haqqani and provides him with a rear base in North Waziristan