Desire for son led to Mehsud’s death: report


London : A desperate wish for a son may have led to the death of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, a British newspaper reported Sunday.

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Mehsud was spending the night with his second wife in the village of Zangarha Wednesday when he was killed in an American drone attack, the Sunday Times said.

It said the 35-year-old Mehsud, who has four daughters by his first wife, took a second wife, the daughter of an influential cleric, last November.

The paper said the diabetic Mehsud, who had been feeling “poorly”, had taken a risk in spending the night at the house of second wife’s father.

He had been seen by a local doctor, who had given Mehsud a glucose drip.

“In the end it may have been the desire for a son that led to the Taliban leader’s demise,” said the report.

The paper said initial reports suggested only Mehsud’s wife and two fighters had been killed, but suspicions were raised when a large funeral was held the next day.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Saturday Mehsud, his wife and seven guards were killed. But he added, “We’re still waiting for material evidence to confirm it totally.”

Mehsud was supported by the Pakistani army and intelligence service ISI, a Pakistani military analyst told the paper.

“He was originally supported by the military and ISI, but he had begun to bite the hand that fed him,” said analyst Ayesha Siddiqa.

“His death is a very powerful signal to them all.”