MP under fire for remarks on Omar's whereabouts
KABUL (PAN): A number of Wolesi Jirga members on Saturday rejected as irresponsible and baseless a female MP's claim that the reclusive Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, is in Afghanistan and ready for peace talks.
The representative from southern Ghazni province, Huma Sultani, on Saturday renewed her assertion that the Taliban's supreme leader was hiding in her home (Afghanistan) and that she had talked to him.
Both the Taliban and the Afghan government reject the claim as unfounded.
Sultani said Omar was in her home and was ready for peace dialogue. She did not go into details. Earlier she had said her home meant Afghanistan.
The lawmaker said she had time and again contacted President Karzai and High Peace Council members in this regard, but they turned a deaf ear to her calls. She claimed some government officials did not want to have peace in Afghanistan.
"Karzai sent me Qasim Fahim (first vice president), who offered me a bullet-proof car, a house in Wazir Akbar Khan and a million dollars to back out of the claim," the MP said. But Fahim's spokespeople denied the allegation.
Sultani said Afghanistan's real problem was not with Pakistan, but with the Taliban. She said that problem could be resolved through dialogue.
A few days ago, Karzai said that talks for brining peace and stability to Afghanistan should be held with Pakistan, not Taliban.
Sultani wanted to prolong her speech, but a number of lawmakers interrupted her by thumping their desks. After a brief verbal altercation, Sultani walked out of the house.
A legislator from Kabul, Shinkai Karokhel, said Sultani's claim was irresponsible. "It is untrue that Mullah Omar is in her house," she insisted. Karokhel said that spy agencies of neighbouring countries were behind such allegations.
Another MP, from western Herat province, Munawar Shah Bahadari, said the National Directorate of Security should launch an investigation into Sultani's assertion. He said the woman wanted to support Pakistan, a country conspiring against Afghanistan.
Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi also called Sultani's statement irresponsible, saying no one should support Pakistan, as it had been creating problems for Afghanistan.
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