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Pakistani Taliban Leader's Death by Drone Triggers Relief, Anger and Fear

Hakimullah Mehsud, the chief of the Pakistani Taliban has been killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan, according to Pakistani intelligence officials and militant commanders in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). Mehsud's driver and bodyguard were also reportedly killed in this strike.

The killing comes a day before the Pakistani government was sending a team to hold peace talks with Mehsud's Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and just a week after Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with US President Barack Obama at the White House and expressed his strenuous opposition to drone strikes. 

Naz Bloch, spokesperson of Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehkrik-i-Insaf or PTI, a political party that has been pushing for peace talks with the Taliban and campaigning against US drone strikes tweets Imran Khan's response to the news:

PTI's chief Imran Khan later demanded the government to immediately block Nato supplies going through the country to Afghanistan. PTI is the ruling party in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which shares borders with the tribal areas and has been the most brutally affected by Taliban violence in Pakistan.

Zahid Hussain, a Pakistani journalist and author of The Scorpion's Tail: the relentless rise of Islamic militants in Pakistan was surprised to see Imran Khan's reaction:

He adds:

Blogger and PTI's social media head Dr. Awab Alvi tweets:

Supporters of Jamat-ud-Dawa chant slogans during a protest demonstration against the U.S. drone attacks outside the Hyderabad Press Club. Hyderabad, Pakistan. Image by Rajput Yasir. Copyright Demotix (1/11/2013)

Supporters of Jamat-ud-Dawa chant slogans during a protest demonstration against the U.S. drone attacks outside the Hyderabad Press Club. Hyderabad, Pakistan. Image by Rajput Yasir. Copyright Demotix (1/11/2013)

Zarlasht Faisal, (@ZarlashtFaisal) , a fashion designer and a PTI supporter, questions the future of the war.

Usama Khilji, a Pakistani activist fears a backlash by Taliban:

Beena Sarwar, a blogger and human rights activist questions the role of TTP.

Renowned Pakistani lawyer and judicial activist Athar Minallah reacts:

Omar Quraishi, an op-ed editor of the English daily, the Express Tribune believes drones are not a hindrance to peace talks.

Patron-in-Chief of Pakistan People's Party or PPP, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweets:

There are some funny tweets and jokes in Urdu being circulated on Twitter about Hakimullah Mehsud's killing:

Had Hakilmullah Mehsud escaped wearing a Burqa, he would not be playing ludo [Pakistani bord game] with Hoors [virgins]. Aunty Aziz Lal Masjid wali

Hakimullah with Hoors in heaven

Hakimullah with Hoors in heaven

condolence étiquettes

condolence étiquettes

Obituary and condolence etiquette: This is a request to those coming for condolence,  the wives of Hakimullah Mehsud – Madam Imrana Khanum and Munawar Begum – are in Iddah [mourning in solitude]. That is why, condolences will be received by his other women, Eliya and Ansaran from Murree [city]. Because these two were not his wives, they were just his sleeping partners.

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