US knows Mullah Omar in Karachi: Faizi
KABUL (Pajhwok): A former presidential spokesman on Tuesday claimed the US knew Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar was in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi, but the Americans would not arrest him.
Aimal Faizi told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview that US Foreign Secretary John Kerry had once informed former president Karzai that Omar was hiding in Karachi under the protection of the Pakistani military.
“Karzai was quick to ask why America is not taking action to arrest him. The US has placed a bounty on him and innocent Afghans are daily killed in his name. The Taliban have been waging a war in Afghanistan in Omar’s name and he has been under the protection of Pakistan army,” wondered Karzai.
Faizi said Kerry had no answer to satisfy Karzai, but he told the former president that Gen. Pervaiz Kayani, former Pakistan Army chief, had confirmed Omar was under their observation.
During Karzai’s last visit to the US, the American security advisor, intelligence chief and other senior officials had told him the US would not consider the Taliban their enemy in 2015 and would no longer target them, Faizi recalled.
He said Karzai told the Americans it was surprising they considered the Taliban as enemy before 2014 and not after that year. Karzai also asked the American officials who they would call terrorists post 2014.
The American advisor replied those attacking their embassy, troops and assets in Afghanistan and those threatening American interests. To this Karzai said: “If our 70 or 80 people die in a terrorist attack, will you consider it terrorism? The American advisor said: no!”
Karzai was astonished and asked if a few thousands armed men in disguise of Taliban crossed into Afghanistan from Pakistan and captured some areas and erected their flags, then?
The advisor said it would be a problem between Afghanistan and Pakistan and the US would have nothing to do with that. These remarks by the Americans further eroded Karzai’s trust in the US and the war on terrorism.
As a result, Karzai opposed the opening of Taliban’s political office in Qatar and refused to sign the bilateral security agreement with the US, Faizi continued.
Faizi’s revelations come after a Department of Defence official indicated on Sunday US forces in Afghanistan would not target Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Omar unless they posed a direct threat to America.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters in Washington:“Being a member of the Taliban doesn’t mean that the US is going to prosecute operations against you for that reason alone.”
But he made clear those fighting against Afghan and American forces would not be spared. “We’ve also concurred that a member of the Taliban who undertakes missions against us renders himself vulnerable to US action.”
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