Mutasim may be deported to Kabul: aide
KABUL (Pajhwok): Veteran Taliban leader Agha Jan Mutasim has been put under house-arrest by the authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a close aide confided to Pajhwok Afghan News on Saturday.
Mutasim, who held peace talks with the High Peace Council members in Dubai last month, had been under investigation since last week by officials in the UAE, a friend of the Taliban’s former minister said.
A media report on Friday said Mutasim’s family had confirmed they had not been able to contact him since last week. Another former Taliban leader also confirmed all contacts with Agha Jan had been lost.
“But these investigations have been friendly so far. It seems Mutasim has been put under house arrest and there is a possibility he might be deported to Kabul,” the aide said.
A former Taliban cabinet minister and close aide to the Taliban chief, Mullah Muhammad Omar, Agha Jan Mutasim had launched his peace movement and, contrary to the Taliban policy, held talks with senior HPC members in Dubai last month.
He along with the HPC had agreed to hold more talks to push the peace process and sources close to Agha Jan said he had been working on a plan to convene a conference of religious scholars and to break more Taliban leaders from the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”.
In February, Agha Jan Mutasim invited some senior Taliban leaders in Dubai for talks who later agreed to hold dialogue with the government of President Hamid Karzai and all other Afghan factions to negotiate a settlement ahead of the NATO withdrawal.
A day after his Dubai meeting, former Taliban minister, Abdul Raqeeb, who had attended one of Agha Jan’s meetings in the UAE, was assassinated in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Removed from the United Nations blacklist in early August last year, Mutasim has called for stepping up the delisting process to pave the ground for a negotiated end to the war.
The UN removed Mutasim’s name from its blacklist in a bid to kick-start the stalled peace talks between the insurgents and the United States.
Hailing the UN decision as a respectable move, Mutasim thanked the world body, the Security Council, the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Saudi Arabia officials, the government of Turkey and all those who played a role in this regard.
“Still many Taliban remain on the list,” later explained Mutasim-- a son-in-law of Mullah Omar Mutasim was among the three Taliban envoys who attended a 2011 meeting with United States officials in Bonn and Doha. The Taliban later announced they would open a political office in Doha, but called off talks after the US rejected their demands for the release of their prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.
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