Opponents want me assassinated: Mutasim
KABUL (Pajhwok): Veteran Taliban leader Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim on Thursday denied reports that he had been under house arrest in the UAE, saying he was in protection from possible attacks by his opponents.
Mutasim, regarded as a close aide to the Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, was a finance minister during the hard-line regime.
Recently, some reports said that Mutasim was confined to his home in the UAE after he brought together some 16 current and former Taliban leaders and Afghan peace negotiators for a dialogue.
Pajhwok Afghan News received a statement from Mutasim, who said he had been in a secure place in the UAE because of possible attacks by elements opposed to peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
“About a month ago, my friends told me that some anti-peace and anti-Afghan elements wanted to attack me and I should be careful,” the statement quoted Mutasim as saying.
He said UAE security officials had also received some information about a possible bid on his life, thus advising him to move to a safe place.
“The states have responsibility to protect their residents, especially leading political figures, scientists and influential individuals and it was in that context the UAE security officials suggested me to temporarily leave my old place for a secure one,” he added.
He did not name who wanted to assassinate him, but the Afghan government had earlier accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of killing Afghan Taliban leaders after they agreed to negotiate peace with the Afghan government.
Previously, well-placed sources told Pajhwok Afghan News that Mutasim had arrived in Kabul from Dubai and held meetings with some Afghan officials.
In 2010, Mutasim survived a gun attack in Pakistan’s Karachi city and quickly left the country for Turkey.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.