Lahore: While admitting for the first time publicly that the Taliban’s Quetta Shura (Quetta based union council of the Taliban) certainly existed in the country, Pakistan Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar has said that there is no threat from the ‘shura’, as it has been “significantly damaged” by the security forces.
“Security forces have taken on the ‘Quetta Shura’, damaged it to such an extent that it no longer pose any threat to the country,” The Daily Times quoted Mikhtar, as saying.
While Pakistan has been vehemently denying reports about the presence of the Talibani leadership inside its boundaries, particularly in Balochistan, the United States, time and again, has stressed that key Taliban and al Qaeda commanders have taken refuge in that region and were planning attacks from there.
A recent report by General Stanley McChrystal, the top US commander in Afghanistan, also claimed that the Taliban leadership was in Quetta, Balochistan’s capital, and that it was plotting attacks on international forces in Afghanistan.
This is probably the first that Pakistan has officially admitted the presence the ‘Quetta shura’.