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'Wounded Taliban are treated in Pakistan'

A report in The Sunday Times says Pak allows Taliban fighters wounded in battles to be treated in its safe houses.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2006 01:31 IST

Pakistan is allowing Taliban fighters wounded in battles with British and other NATO forces in Afghanistan to be treated in its safe houses, a media report said on Sunday.

The Sunday Times found Taliban commanders and their fighters recuperating in the Pakistani city of Quetta last week and moving freely around parts of the city.

"In the northern suburb of Pashtunabad, more than 30 Taliban were recovering from the bloodiest fighting in Afghanistan since their regime was ousted five years ago," the report said.

Dressed in neatly pressed robes with the black turbans and kohl-rimmed eyes typical of the Taliban, they lounged on cushions, sipping green tea and sucking at boiled sweets while laughing at NATO reports that they have sustained heavy casualties.

"Fighting the British is as easy as eating a loaf of bread from my hand. Fighting the British is much easier than the Americans. They have no faith," a young Taliban commander who had been shot in the calf last month while fighting British troops in Gereshk, a town in the Afghan province of Helmand, and who returned to Quetta to be treated, said.

The proof that Taliban are using Quetta for rest and recuperation - if not also for training as widely suspected - is embarrassing for President Pervez Musharraf, it said.

The Pakistani President has long denied claims from the Afghan government that his military intelligence is providing support and safe havens for the Taliban.

First Published: Nov 19, 2006 11:33 IST