Senior Pakistani insurgent arrested in Afghan east: Officials

Published: February 19, 2013

Kabul says the insurgency in Afghanistan draws sustenance from sanctuaries in Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KABUL: Afghan security forces captured a top Pakistani Taliban commander during an operation in eastern Afghanistan, security officials said on Tuesday, in a move that could help improve  trust between the two countries.

The arrest on Monday of Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, a regional commander for Pakistan’s Taliban movement, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was hailed as a “big blow” to the movement by an Afghan interior ministry official.

Pakistan authorities have long demanded that Kabul take action against Pakistani insurgents who take refuge in areas of eastern Afghanistan just over the border. Kabul, in turn, says the insurgency in Afghanistan draws sustenance from sanctuaries in Pakistan.

Mohammad was captured during a raid in Nangarhar province by members of the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), and Afghan police officers, according to officials from NDS and the Afghan interior ministry.

Mohammad has a tumultuous past with the Pakistani Taliban and last year was sacked as commander of the northern Bajaur region, after telling Pakistani media the TTP were holding peace talks with the government.

The TTP denied his claim and replaced him with another commander, Mullah Dadullah. After Dadullah was killed in a NATO air strike in Afghanistan in August last year, Mohammad resumed his role.

Mohammad was responsible for several attacks against Pakistani forces and was known for his strict implementation of Islamic law in Bajaur.

Reader Comments (10)

  • saysitall
    Feb 19, 2013 - 2:02PM

    “Mohammad has a tumultuous past with the Pakistani Taliban and last year was sacked as commander of the northern Bajaur region, after telling Pakistani media the TTP were holding peace talks with the government.”

    Recommend

  • Feroz
    Feb 19, 2013 - 2:15PM

    The Afghans seem to have become very smart and have learned many tricks from their neighbor Pakistan. With these arrests they have gained good leverage and ideally should exploit it. Now an exchange of prisoners can be sought, Mullah Omar and group with Haqqani allies against these TTP warlords. If not there could be tit for tat, if Taliban attack us TTP attacks you. In negotiations the interlocutors must speak the same language and from experience we learn that the only language understood is threats of violence — of course couched in diplomacy like “We want a peaceful Afghanistan or conversely we want a peaceful Pakistan”.
    How long such charades continue is anybody’s guess.

    Recommend

  • Yoghurt lover
    Feb 19, 2013 - 3:25PM

    Also, this is a very good move by Afghanistan. Even though they are understaffed and under-trained, they captured a criminal.

    Now it’s the Pakistan’s turn to capture Haqqani and prove that they are on the side of the good.

    Recommend

  • Stranger
    Feb 19, 2013 - 3:49PM

    Hey I thought Taliban took birth and grew in Afghanitan.now conveniently they blame Pak for their misfortunes.

    Recommend

  • really
    Feb 19, 2013 - 5:56PM

    @Stranger:
    My friend, you have a lot you don’t know. History isn’t your specialty either. I would concentrate on not embarrassing yourself.

    Recommend

  • KKK
    Feb 19, 2013 - 6:24PM

    Language of violence is indeed not in anyone’s favour for either sides of the Durand line in the long term.. We need to end the strategic depth policy, there should be an end to proxy wars and no more supporting the guerrilla warriors.. This region needs to work together for prosperity and economic growth.

    Recommend

  • Stranger
    Feb 19, 2013 - 7:44PM

    @really, the Taliban must have taken birth anywhere but it was nourished and grew in Afghanistan. you too agree with me. Its also true that Pak has been helping Afghanistan a lot by taking their refugees etc., and now Afghanistan blames Pak for many things , bans its newspapers etc., ok now start your history lesson. Its true that i dont know many things. I am all ears.Recommend

  • American Desi
    Feb 20, 2013 - 2:56AM

    @Stranger: Taliban was grown and nurtured in Afghanistan by the mercenary Generals of Pakistan, financed by Caliphate obsessed Arabs and myopic Americans. If you thought you were helping Afghans by accepting and sheltering their refugees you are wrong, that’s the least Pakistan could do after laying foundation for devastation of that country and it’s societies.

    Recommend

  • Khan
    Feb 20, 2013 - 9:55AM

    People really can not differenciate between Afghan Taliban and TTP.Afghan talibans or those associated with Hizb-e-Islami of Gulbadeen Hikmatyar are the ones who had been fighting any foreign attack on Afghan soil and their history traces back to late seventies.They in no form had been any threat to Pakistan ever.While TTP is a group of dacoits, kidnappers, thugs, absconders and murderers who was formed in 2007 (regretrably in the name of Islam) with funds from foreign forces.Their main aim was and is to damage Pakistan and its interests as much as possible.Killing Shias, threatning the local and foreign investments in Pakistan, opposing and sabotaging any Developments project in Pakistan is their main motoo and they had been serving their masters well.Yes they do include some figures from Afghan Jihad too but again those were the one rejected by Afghan talibans.TTP vow allegiance to Mullah Omer but would not abide by his orders as Mullah Omer had time and again ordered his fighters not to harm people of Pakistan, Govt of Pakistan or Armed forces of Pakistan rather concentrate in Afghanistan.But the case is opposite totally in case of TTP.We need not to suppoet any one of them as violence always brings destruction but facts must be made clear always.

    Recommend

  • pakistani342
    Feb 24, 2013 - 12:54PM

    @really — History may embarrass your more!

    History:
    1. Afghans have , historically, invaded and pillaged lands that are now part of Pakistan.
    2. Afghanistan is the only country that chose NOT to recognize Pakistan at birth.
    3. Afghanistan’s Daud Khan supports separatists in Pakistan.
    4. Afghanistan’s own leaders invite the USSR to invade her, setting of events that lead to the distruction of Afghanistan.
    5. Afghans find refuge in Pakistan (the largest refugee population in the world).
    6. Afghans find it convenient to use Pakistani support to battle the Soviets (strange how Pakistani interference was good then and bad now)
    7. Afghans start infighting after over throwing Najibullah’s government famously rocketing Kabul.
    8. Mullah Omar refuses refuses to recognize the Durand line.
    9. Mullah Omar refuses to hand over Osama.
    10. Afghans Blame Pakistan for all of Afghanistan’s trouble.

    Let me invite you to decouple our futures. Why don’t you take all the Afghan refugees out of Pakistan and let’s build a wall between the countries.

    Recommend

More in World