Mullah Omar mystery: Afghan official says ISI took him | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Mullah Omar mystery: Afghan official says ISI took him

Amid reports on Afghan TV that Mullah Mohammad Omar has been killed in Pakistan, the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) has said that there was information that the elusive one-eyed Taliban leader was taken by Pakistan's intelligence agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) into its custody two days ago. Meanwhile, agencies quoted Afghanistan's Taliban dismissing Mullah's death as "pure propaganda". Sanjib Kr Baruah reports.

delhi Updated: May 23, 2011 17:35 IST
Sanjib Kr Baruah

Amid reports on Afghan TV that Mullah Mohammad Omar has been killed in Pakistan, the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) has said that there was information that the elusive one-eyed Taliban leader was taken by Pakistan's intelligence agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) into its custody two days ago.

"We have strong reports from our sources in Quetta (Pakistan) that two days ago a group of armed officers in plain clothes led by Gen Hamid Gul, former ISI chief, took Mullah Omar in their custody," Lutfullah Mashan, spokesperson, NDS, told HT.

"The ISI had told Omar's aides and companions that for security reasons they wanted to shift him from Quetta to North Waziristan."

Taliban commanders from Quetta have said that since then, they have not been able to contact Omar, which has sparked off rumours that the Taliban leader might have been either killed or detained by ISI, Mashal said.

"But we cannot officially confirm the killing of Mullah Omar."

Meanwhile, agencies quoted Afghanistan's Taliban dismissing Mullah's death as "pure propaganda".

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has been quoted as saying: "Omar was currently inside Afghanistan "leading the mujahideen".

The ISI had helped create the Taliban in 1990s. Distrust runs deep between the Afghan intelligence and the ISI. Afghanistan and Pakistan regularly trade accusations over Taliban insurgencies plaguing both their countries.