The decision was taken at a meeting of the Tehrik-e- Taliban Pakistan's Shura (Council), media reports said.

Most of the members of the council were present in the meeting held at an undisclosed location though all could not attend it.
    
All 43 members of the Shura attending the meeting voted in favour of Sajna, militants sources were quoted as saying by Dawn News. It said the election was not confirmed by factions of the militant grouping.
    
Sajna, 36, is believed to have been involved in an attack on a naval base in Karachi and is credited with masterminding a 2012 jailbreak in which the Taliban freed nearly 400 inmates in the northwestern city of Bannu.

Read More: Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud buried in Pakistan

"Sajna has no basic education, conventional or religious, but he is battle-hardened and has experience of fighting in Afghanistan," an official had said earlier. Sajna was heading the South Waziristan Taliban.
    
The council considered four names for the top post, including Sajna, Umar Khalid Khurasani, Mullah Fazlullah and Ghalib Mehsud.
    
Mohmand Taliban chief Umar Khalid Khurasani was a strong contender as he was the only surviving senior commander who had directly led operations under Hakimullah. Mullah Fazlullah, chief of the Swat Taliban, was another possible choice but he is currently in Afghanistan.     

Pakistani Taliban gather for funeral


Pakistani Taliban fighters gathered on Saturday for the funeral of their leader while some Pakistani politicians denounced the attack and called for the cutting of US supply lines into Afghanistan.

Hakimullah, in his mid 30s, and five other Taliban militants were killed and two others wounded on Friday when a US drone targeted a compound as he left a meeting in Danday Darpakhel area of North Waziristan.

They were buried at undisclosed locations in different parts of North Waziristan.
    
Taliban vows for unprecedented revenge


Meanwhile, enraged at the killing of its top leader, the Taliban has vowed to take "unprecedented" revenge for the attack in which the militant group alleges the Pakistani government was also involved.
    
"Our revenge will be unprecedented," Abu Omar, a Taliban commander in North Waziristan, was quoted as saying by the New York Times report. Omar said he considered the Pakistani government was also "fully complicit" in the drone strike. "We know our enemy very well," he said.
    
Security beefed up across Pakistan


Security has been beefed up across Pakistan in wake of Hakimullah's killing. "All precautions have been taken," Interior Ministry Spokesperson Omar Hameed Khan said.

Instructions have been given out to police and security officials to keep a hawk eye vigil to prevent the feared backlash from the Taliban.
    
"All precautions have been taken," Interior Ministry spokesperson Omar Hameed Khan said.
    
Security analysts say that a backlash from the Taliban, which carried out gruesome attacks that killing thousands in the country, is possible.
    
Security was increased at all sensitive government installations across the country besides Islamabad. More policemen could be seen on the streets than normal days.     

The drone strike came at a time when the government was all set to initiate peace talks with the Taliban to end the cycle of violence in the country that has killed at least 7,000 security personnel and nearly 40,000 people.
    
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, in his immediate reaction, said the drone strike was aimed at sabotaging the peace talks with the Taliban.
    
In order to control damage, he called up Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Munawwar Hasan and JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman. "The drone attack took place at a time when the government was about to send negotiators to formally engage the Taliban in talks," media reports quoted sources as him telling the two politico-religious leaders.

Analysts say there could be a violent backlash in the form of reprisal attacks, anywhere in the country, particularly in Peshawar. "However, the TTP may not be able to launch big attacks immediately because of the irreparable loss it has suffered. However, if the group still stages large-scale attacks, it would be an indicator of its existing strength and viability. Failure to do so would signal a beginning of the end for the terrorist outfit," Raza Khan, an analyst specializing counter-terrorism and governance, wrote in an article on Saturday.     

Mehsud killing seen as major victory by US media

The death of Mehsud in a US drone strike has been described as a "victory" by the US media, but analysts also cautioned that it could further strain US-Pakistan relations.

Mehsud's death "is a signal achievement for the covert CIA programme at a time when drones themselves have come under criticism from human rights groups and other critics in Pakistan and the United States over the issue of civilian casualties," the influential New York Times said in a report from London.

The Washington Post agreed that if confirmed it "would be a victory for US officials who have spent years hunting down a leader implicated in a 2009 attack that killed seven Americans at a CIA outpost in eastern Afghanistan."

But it suggested that while the event "could cripple the group" it may "undermine an effort by Pakistan's government to engage militants in peace talks" and "add to strains between the United States and Pakistan."

The "elimination" of Mehsud "by a drone strike in Pakistan today is a significant step forward in the fight against global terrorism," said Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

"The TTP has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Pakistanis in terrorist attacks throughout the country since the group was formed in 2007," she noted.

"Mehsud was also involved in the 2009 attack on the CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan, having appeared in a video filmed before the attack with the Jordanian suicide bomber."

CNN, however, noted "This is not the first time Mehsud -- who took the reins of the Pakistani Taliban in 2009 -- has been reported killed after a drone strike. In February 2010, multiple sources said he had died after being hit in a drone strike in Pakistan a month earlier.

But reports that he was alive surfaced in April of that year, and in May 2010 he appeared in a video vowing attacks on major US cities.

JPN/Agencies

Latest News from World News Desk