ISI sheltering Mullah Omar: Ex-Afghan spy chief

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 21:35

Washington: Pakistan`s powerful ISI is
providing safe haven to the Taliban leadership and the West
need not mount a military operation to capture Mullah Omar as
the elusive insurgent chief "is with them," according to
Afghanistan`s former spy chief.

The former head of Afghanistan`s National Directorate
Amrullah Saleh, who quit his post last year over disagreements
with Hamid Karzai, said the Afghan President was working in
greater collaboration with the Pakistani spy agency.

"To capture Mullah Omar and bring him to justice, they
don`t need a military operation. He is with them (ISI)," Saleh
was quoted as saying by CNN.

Saleh, who presided over Afghanistan`s main
intelligence gathering agency from 2006 to 2010, said ISI
provides safe haven to insurgent leadership.

Saleh, who many in Islamabad consider to be anti-
Pakistani, said he brought "actionable intelligence" regarding
the whereabouts of both Omar and al Qaeda`s new chief, Ayman
al-Zawahiri.

He maintains that both men remain in Pakistan, and
that the US military "surge" has "failed" to provide stability
to the region due to lack of Pakistani cooperation.

With the NATO drawdown and transition to national
security forces now underway, Saleh says Karzai is pressing
for a deal with the Taliban "at any cost."

Karzai, according to Saleh, has engaged in "a number
of secret talks" with ISI chief Lt-Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha,
while also meeting with senior Pakistani leaders in an
"unprecedented" amount of exchanges.

Karzai has long called for talks with Taliban
leadership to end the decade-long conflict that has wrecked
havoc in his country.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 21:24

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