WASHINGTON: US officials have confirmed that notorious Mullah Fazlullah, a commander of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, is hiding in Afghanistan, The Washington Post (WP) reported on Wednesday.
Fazlullah was reportedly behind the attack on teenage child rights activist Malala Yousufzai.
Citing unnamed US officials, the WP report stated that the Taliban leader has escaped retribution by hiding in a section of eastern Afghanistan where the US forces are present but focused on other targets.
“Finding Fazlullah is not a priority because he is not affiliated with al Qaeda or with insurgents targeting US and Afghan interests”, the officials said as per the report.
“Our guys just aren’t tracking him,” a senior Special Operations official said. “He is viewed as an ‘other-side-of-the-border’ problem.”
Malala was attacked by Taliban gunmen on October 9, when she was returning home from school. She was shifted to the UK for medical treatment.
Pakistan has repeatedly asked the US to hunt down Fazlullah, even handing over a dossier on him to authorities, but scant action has been taken.