The international media is kind enough to further promote the theme of the Afghan Taliban from “enjoying safe sanctuaries in Pakistan” to “leisurely residing in Pakistan”. They say most of the Taliban leaders have in the past been arrested either from Quetta or Karachi or elsewhere in the country, which solidifies the idea that most of their leaders reside in Pakistan. Whereas the facts, which need to be highlighted by our media and think-tanks, are contrary: (a) When Karzai says he has held talks with the Taliban, it doesn’t mean he came to Pakistan but met the Taliban leaders either in Kabul or elsewhere in Afghanistan. (b) Mullah Zaeef, the former ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Wakeel al-Mutwakkal, the Taliban regime foreign minister and other Taliban leaders are residing right in the middle of Kabul, under the nose of Karzai regime and playing the role of conduit between the Mullah Omar and Americans and the Taliban’s new office in Qatar. (c) The foreign agency report containing the recent statement of Mullah Omar endorsing the talks with the US and furnishing two conditions to Washington was originated from Kandahar, not from anywhere in Pakistan, which means the Taliban supreme commander is residing in Afghanistan, not Pakistan. (d) Mullah Jalaluddin Haqqani Haqqani had recently announced that he and his network were safe in Afghanistan, which means he too is living in Afghanistan. (e) Just two weeks before a number of Taliban leaders were killed in ambush in Afghanistan, which confirms their presence there. (f) Americans are confirming and the Taliban are admitting opening office in Qatar. No Taliban leader reached Qatar from Pakistan, but Afghanistan, which is on record. (g) Recently a female member of the Afghan assembly has claimed to have met the Taliban leaders, obviously in Afghanistan, not Pakistan. (h) The Karzai regime has its writs in and shortly around the walls of Kabul. Elsewhere in the entire Afghanistan there is unannounced rule of the Taliban who are operating under their command and control within their areas, not Pakistan.

The facts further reveal that not only the Afghan Taliban leadership is in Afghanistan, but due to massive operations by Pakistan army, most of the Pakistani Taliban leaders have fled to Afghanistan and are enjoying ‘state-guest’ status in Kunar and other areas. The Swat warlord Mullah Fazlullah, Waziristan’s Mullah Nazir and others have fled to Kunar province where the governor is reportedly known to this fact and their presence is being officially ignored. A number of attacks being launched in Pakistan are being spearheaded from inside Afghanistan and the training facilities to Pakistani Taliban from FATA, KPK, Punjab and Balochistan are being provided there.

The international community must be cognizant to this fact and come forward to help Pakistan and diplomatically push Kabul to end their patronisation if they seriously want peace in the region.

ESCHMALL SARDAR,

Peshawar, January6.