Tuesday, 17 May 2011 19:38
Written by Shakeela Abrahimkhil
An Afghan security official on Tuesday told TOLOnews that Pakistan's spy organisation has asked Mullah Mohammad Omar to leave Pakistan for a period.
The Afghan security official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told TOLOnews that ISI has conveyed its message to the Taliban leader in Quetta through former Pakistani spy chief Gen. Hamid Gul.
Mullah Omar has been asked to leave Quetta for some time and move to Afghanistan or Iran.
"The Taliban leader, in the message, has been promised that ISI will facilitate his move to Helmand in Afghanistan or somehere in Iran," the official said.
The source said Pakistan's spy organisation wants to move Mullah Omar out and then report his location to the US forces.
Then if the Taliban leader is killed on Afghan soil, Pakistan will use it as a propaganda tool to show that terrorist leaders are also hiding in Afghanistan, the source said.
Meanwhile, Commander of Isaf Joint Command Lt Gen. David Rodriguez said on Monday that there were still around 100 al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan.
"We still think that there are just less than a 100 al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, but again what they do is a cadre type organisation that helps out to bring both resources as well as technical skills to the rest of the Taliban fighting here," Gen. Rodriguez said at a press conference in Kabul.
US ambassador in Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, had previously said senior insurgent leaders were outside Afghanistan.
"The senior leadership of the organisations ... al-Qaeda, Taliban, Haqqani, they do not live in your country," he said. "They have sanctuary outside of Afghanistan and now that we assume that their significant leaders that are found that are in Pakistan," Mr Eikenberry had said in Kabul on May 5.
He had said the United States was determined to kill or detain anyone that threatened the US national security anywhere in the world.
Afghan political expert, Noor-ul-Haq Olumi, believes that al-Qaeda structure has not been damaged and it is still functiong even after its leader has been killed.
"ISI is the organisation that trains, funds and harbours such terrorist organisation, and I think the region will suffer until no action is taken against the real terrorist training centre in the region," Mr Olumi said.
Nato has said Osama Bin Laden's death will not affect the Afghan mission and that they would stay in Afghanistan until necessary.
It comes as the United States has reportedly decided to speed up direct talks with the Taliban.
A US representative has attended at least three meetings in Qatar and Germany and the most recent has taken place around nine months ago, the Washington Post reports.
State Department spokesman Michael A. Hammer has said on Monday that the US has been having a "broad range of contacts across Afghanistan and the region, at many levels.
The talks with the Taliban have proceeded on several tracks, including through non-governmental intermediaries and Arab and European governments, US officials have said.
The Taliban have always rebuffed Afghan government calls for peace talks and pre-conditioned withdrawal of all foreign forces from the country before any talks can be held.
There have even been reports in the past that the Taliban group was willing to engage in direct talks with the US rather than with the Afghan government.