Malala's enemy: Mullah Fazlullah hiding in Afghanistan, US officials confirm

Published: November 7, 2012
A report quotes unnamed US officials confirming that Malala attack planner is hiding in Afghanistan. PHOTO: WIKIPEDIA

A report quotes unnamed US officials confirming that Malala attack planner is hiding in Afghanistan. PHOTO: WIKIPEDIA

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.

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Reader Comments (48)

  • waqar amjad
    Nov 7, 2012 - 10:07PM

    He is viewed as an ‘other-side-of-the-border’ problem.”
    and we are supposed to be allies with usa
    Imran khan seems to be right, high time we make independent foreign policy. Disengage ourselves from this war on terror.


  • FN
    Nov 7, 2012 - 10:09PM

    Then US shouldn’t ask Pakistan Army to hunt leaders of Haqqani Network. They are also, “‘other-side-of-the-border’ problem” for the army.


  • Aamir - Toronto
    Nov 7, 2012 - 10:12PM

    So the US will not leash him if he is not affiliated with al Qaeda ??


  • Deserved
    Nov 7, 2012 - 10:12PM

    Thanks a lot Mr.Mullah for showing the face of ur Talibani society.


  • qasim m
    Nov 7, 2012 - 10:13PM

    “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.

    just wondering how our so called fake liberals going to defend this


  • Zalmai
    Nov 7, 2012 - 10:14PM

    Afghanistan has repeatedly asked Pakistan to hunt down Mullah Omar and the Haqqani clan, even handing over dossiers on them to authorities, but scant action has been taken.


  • Momin z
    Nov 7, 2012 - 10:15PM

    I had doubts on imran khan’s foreign and security policy but after reading this my faith in imran khan has just grown


  • SD
    Nov 7, 2012 - 10:16PM

    Dear America

    We are not targeting the Haqqani network because it is not affiliated with the TTP or with insurgents attacking Pakistani interests

    With Love

    Pakistan Army


  • Saleem
    Nov 7, 2012 - 10:23PM

    If finding/pursuing a target on Pakistan’s request is not a priority for the US or Nato then why a target needed by them should be a priority for Pakistan?


  • Chengez K
    Nov 7, 2012 - 10:29PM

    Now hear Najam Sethi,Asma Jehangir, Aitzaz Hassan,Prof Pervez Hoodhby,Hussain Haqqani step forward and start abusing ISI but still saying we are not supporting CIA & NATO.


  • BILL
    Nov 7, 2012 - 10:39PM

    What heck is on that dude’s chin?Recommend

  • Jibran
    Nov 7, 2012 - 11:19PM

    That’s Noor-e-Ibleesi.


  • malik Hamza
    Nov 7, 2012 - 11:21PM

    our guys are not tracking him he is viewed as another side border problem ?
    If your forces cant hunt him down give Pakistan permission to go in Afghanistan and hunt the dog down.
    What you did with Osama — what comes round goes round


  • sensible
    Nov 7, 2012 - 11:23PM

    cool if fazullah is not your target and not against you and why you want Pak to crack down haqqanis since they are not against Pak, what a contradiction.


  • Randomstranger
    Nov 7, 2012 - 11:29PM




  • Cautious
    Nov 7, 2012 - 11:40PM

    Mullah Fazlullah hiding out in Afghanistan is a red herring – the vast majority of the TTP reside in the tribal territories of Pakistan and your army has yet to mount a significant military campaign to deal with that problem. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to distinguish the difference between Pakistan’s policy of providing sanctuary to the Haqqani and the American’s not dedicating resources in a search/destroy operation for one man who’s location is unknown. If you know the specific location of Fazlullah then tell the American’s – they can take him out with drones as they have other TTP residing in Afghanistan (something conveniently forgotten by ET readers).


  • Elhaan Khan
    Nov 7, 2012 - 11:45PM

    US is cleary telling Pakistani Establishment that if you can play both sides in this war on terror, so we!


  • SM
    Nov 8, 2012 - 12:23AM

    For the US, Mullah Fazlullah may not be a focus, same for Pakistan the Haqqani network is not a point of focus.

    To the US, Pakistan needs to tell them to “Do more.”


  • MK
    Nov 8, 2012 - 12:28AM


    If you go beyond CNN and FOX for your information you will find out that his whereabouts are known to Afghan officials, and one recently gave a statement to BBC regarding that. Both Pakistan and US are playing same game, and Afghans cannot do much without their respective master’s permission. Non of the parties involved (Afghan groups allied with US, US itself and Pakistan) have any higher moral ground here. It is all about money and power. So stop pretending to be “Champions of Freedom”.


  • Bilal
    Nov 8, 2012 - 12:39AM

    Both of us are far from reality.. we dnt knw whats the reality of ttp. From where i see; ttp is CIA’s weapon against pakistan. And haqqanis are our ISI’s weapon against American indian jewish presence in afghanistan. Everyone is just safegaurding their own interests!


  • Poleturtle
    Nov 8, 2012 - 12:40AM

    Fazlullah is on the payroll of the US.


  • afzaalkhan
    Nov 8, 2012 - 12:53AM


    Just like he is not US problem, why should Haqqani be our problem? As for drones since u using them anyway and not listening to our protests what difference does it make? Takes two to tango thats what been told so same way you shouldn’t complaint.


  • Nov 8, 2012 - 12:59AM

    The fear which existed in pakistan about american army that they support terrorism in pakistan is now confirmed by the statement of American army about the presence of Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan commander in Afghanistan.
    The statement of american general about Mullah Fazlullah that “Our guys just aren’t tracking him,” a senior Special Operations official said. “He is viewed as an ‘other-side-of-the-border’ problem.”
    clealry shows that american army support Mullah Fazullah to carry out terroists attacks in pakistan.
    If this double standard exist, how can we finish the menace of terrorism ???


  • Nov 8, 2012 - 1:03AM

    This statement of american army reflects that they support terrorism“Our guys just aren’t tracking him,” a senior Special Operations official said. “He is viewed as an ‘other-side-of-the-border’ problem.”. Read it and think


  • Nov 8, 2012 - 1:06AM

    American must now admit that they failed in bitterly in afghanistan due to their cunning and double standard behaviour. Americans are not sincere to eliminate terrorism but they are secretly supporting it for their temporary gains which will be a big problem again for them at the end


  • meekal a ahmed
    Nov 8, 2012 - 2:21AM

    where did we think he was hiding?


  • Tch tch
    Nov 8, 2012 - 2:50AM

    @meekal a ahmed:
    If you followed the hysterical media reaction the popular theory was that Ehsanullah Ehsan took responsibility and the TTP(HM) of NWA was behind the whole thing and we had to avenge the Qom ki beti in another operation.
    I hope we don’t apply that logic again and decide not to attack ISAF and the ANA in


  • numbersnumbers
    Nov 8, 2012 - 3:46AM

    Let us all understand, for months now Pakistan has refused to do anything about the Haqqani network in the Waziristans because they are only attacking Afghan targets, and as such are viewed as “Assets” of Pakistan in the Great Game! Now the Americans /Afghans return the favor with Fazlullah so Pakistan can see how the shoe fits on the other foot!


  • k b kale
    Nov 8, 2012 - 4:04AM

    But where is Pakistani Army oblignig?


  • Khurram
    Nov 8, 2012 - 4:38AM

    Eastern Afghanistan is in the range of Pakistan Airforce and and ISI should locate this Terrorist and Airforce should do the raid along with Covert ground units. I think PAF have laser guided bombs and infiltration and monitoring of the terrorist’s activities in Afghanistan should not be a problem for our Army with the help of Ground intelligence of ISI.
    Pakistan Army have to show that apart from making Housing Schemes they are better in doing their real job as well and I am sure this Mullah Fazaullah could not only be removed but will bring shame to the Nato and the US as Pakistan can state after their Covert Operation in Afghanistan that they have taken down the Taliban leader protected involved in Attacking Malala and this will help Pakistan in every case.


  • Khurram
    Nov 8, 2012 - 4:43AM

    @malik Hamza: Mr Malik why ask for the permission from America or Nato for the raid on this terrorist??. West is the biggest hypocrite on the planet and they have two faces in every case and the do support terrorists as well .
    America will never allow to kill this terrorist as he is a good asset for them for terrorism in Pakistan. If America can do the raid in Pakistan to remove their targets without persmission then Pakistan can do the same. Pakistani ground intelligence have full access to the East of Afghanistan because of Proximity with the borders and because of Porous borders it is not a problem to go there.
    So in my view Pak Army dont have to wait. If America can remove their targets then Pak Army can go and remove their bad man without permission in other countries as well and we should do that.


  • Nov 8, 2012 - 5:19AM

    People didn’t seriously think that he was in North Waziristan did they? Except ofcourse our war loving liberals, oh yea, and latte sippers in islamabad


  • Babbarsher Khan
    Nov 8, 2012 - 5:36AM

    What a relief! Now we should give a notice to newly re-elected president of the US to handover him to us or we will bring down all the drones flying over Pakistan?


  • Aarvey,india
    Nov 8, 2012 - 5:39AM


    it works both ways saleem. Remember a guy called Osama? You want the USA and NATO to hunt down this savage who is a threat to Pakistan but you dont want to hunt down the savages who are a threat to the world?


  • Selvam
    Nov 8, 2012 - 5:57AM

    Sure he is not in any Abbottabad than?


  • Something Clever
    Nov 8, 2012 - 6:11AM

    It’s entertaining seeing all the “oh so you want us to do x but you won’t do y” comments as if they found some ground to stand on. It doesn’t work that way for Pakistan. You’re the ones who have been refusing to go after people first. NATO/US gets ownership of “oh so you want us to do x but you won’t do y” and Pakistan is the one receiving the snub.


  • Ali Ashfaq
    Nov 8, 2012 - 6:14AM

    In the same way Pakistan has its own Priorities. Why blame Pakistan then…


  • Polpot
    Nov 8, 2012 - 7:51AM

    Simple Solution: Ask the Haqqanis to liquidate the Mullah inside Afghanistan

    Isnt that what the Haqqanis are for? Why rely on amreekans when its not needed?


  • Sonam Shyam
    Nov 8, 2012 - 8:13AM

    Now I think Pakistanis would understand Indian pain. India has sent plenty of dossiers full of incriminating evidence against the likes of Hafeez Saeed and the Indian underworld don Dawood Ibrahim; but Pakistan calls all the evidence “Piece of literature”. Now in Radio Mullah’s case, the shoe is firmly on the other foot. Instead of getting agitated, it’s high time the Pakistanis realise that duplicity and brazen deception can not be successful foreign policy tools any longer.Recommend

  • vasan
    Nov 8, 2012 - 9:29AM

    Let Pak keep its priorities and do nothing against haqqani. And pl dont complain about fazlullah also. The net result is more droning and more collateral damage. It is upto pak to choose what they prefer death by drones or death by terrorists. Inaction brings both ie deaths due to drones and deaths due to TTP.


  • samad farooq
    Nov 8, 2012 - 9:34AM

    another game like of osama bin laden, this is a fake picture. Foreigner with beared has been pasted.


  • Nov 8, 2012 - 9:54AM

    For God sack dear Pakistani friends! your country is interfering in Afghanistan internal Affairs for the last forty years and is responsible for all the miseries and sufferings of millions of afghan people. And former Pakistani military and intelligence chiefs are proudly and openly talk and write about their meddling in the afghan affairs. Such a hue and cry from Pakistan’s side over a single instance is not justifiable.


  • RP
    Nov 8, 2012 - 10:07AM

    When Mumbai attack took place Pakistan asked for a CONCRETE PROOF. Do you have any CONCRETE PROOF against Malala attacker ?


  • Nov 8, 2012 - 11:57AM


    The news in Washington post is an attempt to show the mirror to Pakistan as to why they are not confronting with Mullah Fazalullah. ? Ok , in case USA agree to strike on Fazalullah. will Pakistan agree to take on Haqqani Network ( having sanctuary in North Waziristan)
    Will there be consensus on it in Pakistan’s institutions ?


  • Haroon
    Nov 8, 2012 - 12:49PM

    I went that report and this report. But i did not find whether US confirm his presence. They just say, they are not to hunt him down. They have more other priorities….How do you claim he is in Afghanistan.


  • Choclat85
    Nov 8, 2012 - 10:59PM

    This is too much. I didn’t expected such a bad response from US. This news jolted my perception about US.


  • Nov 8, 2012 - 11:34PM

    “Pakistan has repeatedly asked the US to hunt down Fazlullah”

    When will the Pakistani government stop being lazy, and stop requesting favours from the US gov? It is clear that USA does not care about Pakistan’s internal issues and yet many Pakistanis are in favour of the US. This is an internal issue. The Pakistani government should search for this target on their own and stop this sheer madness by disengaging themselves from this war. We need to build an independent nation and solve this problem from the ground root. It all begins with talking, reaching a solution – not by shooting your ‘opposition’ aimlessly. Shame on the Pakistani government for not preventing the Malala incident.


  • Nov 9, 2012 - 5:50AM

    Very good.ThanksRecommend

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