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Taliban chief Mullah Omar in ISI custody?

Last updated on: May 25, 2011 20:45 IST

Taliban chief Mullah Omar in ISI custody?

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A Correspondent

Afghan Intelligence claims that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar is in the custody of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence and that after Osama Bin Laden's killing, the wanted terrorist has been abstained from making any contact with his commanders in Afghanistan.

The Afghan intelligence and Pakistan's ISI are at loggerheads since long time.

Talking to rediff.com, an Afghan intelligence official who did not want to be identified, said: "We have confirmed reports that Mullah Omar is now in the custody of the ISI or its operaitves. He is no more able to contact his people in Afghanistan. Before Osama's killing he was openly leading his people while sitting in Pakistan. But now the Pakistani secret agencies are keeping him out of the scene to protect him from the US."

However, the claim could not be confirmed from official sources.

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Image: File Photo of Mullah Omar

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On Monday, Afghan private television station TOLO reported that the Taliban's supreme leader was killed while travelling from Quetta to North Waziristan.

However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid rejected the report and asserted that Omar was in Afghanistan and not in Pakistan.

Commenting over the TOLO report, the afghan intelligence officer said: "A report about his killing emerged in the Afghan media, but it was not true. Only Mullah Omar's hideout has changed."

The one-eyed Mullah Omar is a spiritual leader of the Afghan Taliban. All Pakistani Taliban factions call themselves as his loyalists. With Osama death, he is now the most wanted terrorist on the US list with a $10 million bounty on his head.



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At the moment when talks about reconciliation with the Afghan Taliban are on, the US is looking to catch Omar alive.

That's because if he is killed, no other person could ensure peace in Afghanistan; different Taliban commanders would start gaining control over their respective areas.

Pakistani agencies will do their best to keep Omar in their hands to ensure their greater role in Afghanistan.

It seems unlikely that in the near future the Pakistani agencies would remove the ban over Omar's movements or allow him to go to Afghanistan.



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