Mullah Omar not in Quetta: Pakistan
The claim was made by a Taliban spokesman captured in Afghanistan.india Updated: Jan 18, 2007 16:15 IST
Pakistan on Thursday denied its intelligence service was sheltering Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar in the city of Quetta near the Afghan border.
"It is an absurd and sheer lie," top military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan said.
The claim was made on Wednesday by a Taliban spokesman captured in Afghanistan where the fundamentalist movement has been waging a deadly insurgency after being ousted from power by US-led forces in 2001.
The claims by Abul Haq Haqiq were made in a video released on Wednesday by Afghanistan's intelligence authority after his arrest in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border.
"The (Taliban) statement appears to have been given under pressure," said Sultan who is also Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's press secretary.
Sultan urged war-ravaged Afghanistan to stop blaming Pakistan for its troubles and sought evidence from Kabul to back up the Taliban spokesman's claims.
"We would like to have the evidence so that we can go after these people," Sultan said.
"Unfortunately by pointing fingers at others the Afghan authorities are simply facing away from the reality.
They should try to put their own house in order instead of blaming others," Sultan said.
"There is a mess in their country that they have to resolve, it cannot be solved by pointing accusing fingers at others."
The Taliban spokesman, who says he was well treated after his arrest, also said the regular suicide bombings in Afghanistan were "carried out by Taliban, financed and equipped by the ISI of Pakistan.
First Published: Jan 18, 2007 16:15 IST