Pakistan’s ISI sheltered Taliban leader Mullah Omar after the outfit’s leadership escaped from Afghanistan in 2001, as per a mail received by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton during her tenure.
A mail containing the said information was released by the State Department. 4,368 emails totalling 7,121 pages were released on 31 August, from the private server of Hillary Clinton. Some of them are highly confidential and classified because of the information they contain.
Though Pakistani authorities have denied links between ISI and Mullah Omar, the fact can’t be negated that the former Taliban chief died in a Karachi hospital two years ago. The US also said it has no such evidence. But a email written to Clinton in August 25, 2010, suggests otherwise.
“I’m sure you know the facts how Mullah Omar was saved by the ISI, but the idea of Afghanistan as an aspect of lndo-Pak war is a strategic concept,” wrote one Sid to Clinton. The author’s name and email have been edited.
But slowly, Clinton and her aides noted the constraints of discussing sensitive subjects when working outside of the government’s secure messaging systems and the need to protect such information.
The comment in the email appeared on as the military and the mullah written by William Dalrymple in New Statesman. According to it, ISI sheltered the Taliban leadership after it fled from Afghanistan in 2001. “Omar was kept in an ISI safehouse in Quetta and his militia was lodged in Pashtunabad,” it said.
Jalaluddin Haqqani, one of the most violent Taliban commanders, was sheltered in North Waziristan, while Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hizb-e-lslami, was lured from exile in Iran and given a free hand outside Peshawar. Similarly, other groups were dispatched to safehouses in Baluchistan, it added.
Pakistani army trucks delivered Taliban fighters at Afghan border and retrieved a few days later—this was apparently filmed by the US in 2004. Similarly, wireless monitoring at US Bagram base picked up Taliban leaders arranging with Pak army officers at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border for safe passage.
Meanwhile, a clash between supporters of new Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor and his opponents in Afghanistan’s Herat province saw 18 Taliban militants killed, media reported on 1 September.
Eighteen people from both sides have been killed and 10 others have been injured so far, Xinhua news agency reported. The clash between the two sides is still going on, the report added.
This is the third time over the past week that local media has reported instances of infighting among Taliban militants.
Following the confirmation of the death of Mullah Omar in late July, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor declared himself as supreme leader of Taliban. But Omar’s elder son Mullah Yaqub challenged Mansoor’s leadership as illegal and warned him to step down or face infighting.