Loyalists of killed Bailtullah Mehsud, now headed by Sheheryar Masud, on Monday disassociated themselves from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its Chief Mullah Fazlullah.
The new group has has declared extortion, kidnapping for ransom, and bombing public places as ‘Haram’.
The announcement shows a deepening shift away from Maulana Fazlullah, who was elected head of the umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) following the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud in a US drone strike in 2013.
Following the killing of Hakimullah, the Mehsud group had refused to recognise Asmatullah Shaheen as new TTP chief.
The group fought with Shaheen’s supporters for months. The infighting led to the killing of Shaheen, after which his supporters joined hands with Mullah Fazlullah as their new leader.
Fazlullah is now believed to be hiding in eastern Afghanistan and public statements by him are rare.
Earlier, TTP Sajna, TTP Punjab and TTP Mohmand announced a disassociation from the umbrella group.
TTP Mohmand pledged its loyalty to a young commander Omar Khalid Khorasani under the name of TTP Jamat-ul-Ahrar (freedom fighters group).
Khorasani is believed to have strong links to Al-Qaeda and its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The group announced in February they had executed 23 Pakistani paramilitaries held since 2010.
Khorasani previously led a faction called Ahrar-ul-Hind which claimed several attacks during a ceasefire period between the government and TTP earlier this year, including one in an Islamabad court complex that killed 12 people.
The Pakistani military has been waging a major assault on TTP bases in North Waziristan tribal area since mid-June and says it has crippled the militants’ command and control structure.
The army said Wednesday it had killed more than 900 militants and lost 82 soldiers in the operation.