The Quetta shura has long been the aching achilles heel of western efforts to defeat the Taliban.
While the war is fought in Afghanistan, the thinking part of the Taliban — the one-eyed leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, and a council of about 14 other men — is sheltering on the far side of the border, in Balochistan. The shura, or leadership council, has multiple functions. It directs the military campaign against western troops and it co-ordinates the political and propaganda campaign that has undermined the rule of President Hamid Karzai.
The Afghan war is organised and run out of Balochistan, according to Seth Jones, a civilian adviser to the US forces commander in Afghanistan.
“Virtually all significant meetings of the Taliban take place in that province, and many of the group’s senior leaders and military commanders are based there,” he wrote in a newspaper article last month.
‘Mullah Omar ready to end Al-Qaeda ties’
Taliban leader in Afghanistan Mullah Muhammad Omar is ready to break with his Al-Qaeda allies in order to make peace in the country, according to the former Pakistani intelligence officer who trained him.
Brigadier Sultan Amir Tarar, a retired officer with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, said: “The moment he gets control the first target will be the Al-Qaeda people.”