Afghan Taliban and their Pakistani sympathisers have turned the Kharotabad area in the southwestern outskirts of Balochistan's capital, Quetta, into a safe heaven and a veritable 'vacation spot', raising fears among the people of possible strikes by US drones.
Taliban fighters every four months return from the warfront in Afghanistan to rejuvenate and convalesce in dozens of rented residential accommodations in Kharotabad neighbourhood, The Express Tribune reported on Monday.
The Pakistan government has been constantly denying reports of presence of Afghan Taliban in Quetta, even in the face of suspicions by Western intelligence agencies that the Taliban leadership, including the Quetta shura was based in the region.
The Pakistani newspaper said the presence of Taliban was becoming a major concern for people living in the adjoining areas who fear that US may carry out missile strikes anytime, the paper said.
Madrassas in Kharotabad are providing free accommodation to these militants, who move freely oblivious of any watch on them, knowing that Kharotabad is a safe haven, the paper said.
The area and madrassas are proving to be a big recruitment centres for the Taliban with six to eight new fighters being inducted for jihad in Afghanistan every month.
The new recruits are given brand new 75CC motorbikes to head for Jihad training centres and given secret route maps of how to evade security checkpoints by taking circuitous and least trodden mountain roads to Qamar Din Karez town on the Pak-Afghan border via Kuchlak.
They are told to avoid travelling in groups – just two persons per motorbike -- and also given Rs 5,000 each, in addition to sufficient money for fuel.