Pakistan unable to confirm Mullah Omar's death as of now
Islamabad, May 24(ANI): Pakistan has said that it cannot yet confirm whether Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar has been killed or not.
On the same day when Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir flew into Kabul for a two-day meeting with his Afghan counterpart, Jawed Ludin, an Afghan television ran a report alleging that Mullah Omar had been killed inside Pakistan.
"I am in no position to verify reports about the killing of Mulla Omar. We are also hearing these reports in Kabul, but we have heard nothing from Islamabad, ISAF or NATO to be able to confirm this," The News quoted Bashir, as saying from Kabul.
When asked whether the issue came up in his meetings with Afghan officials, Bashir said that none of the Afghan officials had raised the issue on the sidelines of the formal bilateral meetings.
While Pakistan was glued to television sets, watching the attack on Karachi's Meharan Naval Station, reports from Afghanistan's intelligence services came out claiming that the Taliban leader had "disappeared from his hideout" in Quetta about five days ago, but that his death could not yet be confirmed.
"We can confirm that he has disappeared from his hideout in Quetta, Balochistan," said Nutfullah Mashal, spokesman for the National Directorate of Security.
"He disappeared from his location in the last few days, but so far we cannot confirm the killing of Mulla Omar officially," he added.
Mashal was speaking at a news conference after an Afghan source anonymously claimed that Omar was dead, while another said that he had been missing for 11 days.
"Interestingly, if the Afghans are so sure about the exact location and movements of Mulla Omar, one wonders why this vital piece of information is not being shared with those who are today occupying their country and who have spent years looking for the Taliban leader," a senior political observer wondered.
Some reports spoke about retired Pakistani General Hamid Gul being seen with Mullah Omar, however, a telephone call to Gul confirmed his presence in Rawalpindi.
Hamid has continued to be in touch with the emissaries of Mullah Omer as have some European countries, the United States, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and key Gulf States, the paper said.
"Yes, maybe my father has whisked Mullah Omar away on a motorcycle," joked Abdullah Gul, the son of the former spymaster, recalling how Mullah Omar had escaped on a motorcycle in the past. (ANI)
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