In 2004, he became the leader of a group of pro-Taliban, tribal fighters based in South Waziristan.
Led by Mehsud, the fighters kidnapped two Chinese engineers who were working on a hydroelectric dam project in the region in October 2004.

One of the hostages died in a rescue attempt. Mehsud himself escaped and Pakistani forces have been looking for him ever since.

"Intelligence reports pointed out his presence at a house and security forces mounted the raid. He sneaked into Zhob [province] from Waziristan," Cheema said.

Baitullah, Mehsud's brother, is a Taliban commander in Pakistan's tribal regions who has been linked to suicide bombings following this month's army raid on the Red Mosque in Islamabad.