Mullah Omar did not die in Pakistan, defence minister tells NA

Published: August 7, 2015
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif clarified on Friday Afghan Taliban supremo Mullah Omar neither died nor was buried in Pakistan.

“I can confirm that Mullah Omar neither died nor was buried in Pakistan and his sons’ statements are on record to support this,” the defence minister said, while addressing the National Assembly.

“Whether he died now or two years ago is another controversy which we do not wish to be a part of,” Asif added.

The defence minister refuted Afghan spy agency’s claims that the Afghan Taliban supremo died in a hospital in Karachi, “He was neither in Karachi nor in Quetta,” he said.

Read: Taliban leader Mullah Omar died in a Karachi hospital in 2013, says Afghanistan

Further, Asif said Pakistan is only playing the role of a mediator in talks between Afghan Taliban and the government in Kabul.

“We do not accept that we have a control on Taliban, we are only playing a role of mediator,” the defence minister said. Asif further said that US and Chinese officials are participating in the Pakistan-brokered peace talks as observers.

“We do not want to get involved in any rivalry in Taliban leadership,” he said, adding Pakistan only wants the group’s leadership to continue the reconciliation process.

Read: Murree talks only credible way to peace: Gen Raheel

The defence minister reiterated the government’s desire for peace talks to continue. The second round of talks, which was scheduled to take place on July 31 in Pakistan, was postponed at the request of the Afghan government and the Taliban leadership.

The fate of the nascent Afghan peace process hangs in the balance following the confirmation of death of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar and the subsequent rifts in the ranks of the ultraorthodox militia.

Read: Mullah Omar’s successor casts doubts on talks

Splits have emerged at the top of the Taliban following the appointment of Mullah Akhtar Mansour as chief of the Afghan Taliban, replacing the movement’s founder Mullah Omar, whose death was confirmed last week. Some of the top leaders of the group, including Omar’s son and brother, have refused to pledge their allegiance to Mansour, saying the process to select him was rushed, even biased. Tayeb Agha, the head of the Qatar political office set up in 2013 to facilitate talks with Kabul, resigned on Monday in protest at Mansour’s appointment and on Thursday two more members followed suit.

Read: More resignations as Taliban try to heal leadership rift

On June 30, Afghan Taliban officially confirmed Mullah Omar died over two years ago of a prolonged illness.

Countries around the world deport 205 Pakistanis every day

Over 205 Pakistanis on average are being deported per day from various countries of the world since 2012, the government informed lawmakers during a question hour in the National Assembly on Friday.

“About 257, 433 Pakistanis have been deported from foreign countries since January 2012,” State Minister for Education Baligh Ur Rehman told Parliament, while elaborating that “55,279 Pakistanis were deported in 2012, 67,330 in 2013, 78,409 in 2014 and 56,415 in 2015.”

Read: Canada orders deportation of Pakistani accused of US consulate bomb plot

Meanwhile, in response to another query, the minister informed the House, “NADRA has approved online processing of requests for the issuance of National Identity Cards to Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) from abroad, and will enable the service in registration centers in Washington DC, New York, Houston and Los Angles.”

“Registration centres are also being set up in Malaysia, Bahrain, Canada and Spain for this purpose,” Rehman added.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • saddavi
    Aug 7, 2015 - 1:45PM

    Bla bla…….Too little too late. and why not tell EU and US and see if they believe in what he says.Recommend

  • cautious
    Aug 7, 2015 - 2:31PM

    Maybe but you have no credibility so save your breath as nobody is going to believe you. In the past you have denied the existence of the Quetta Shura, Haqqani in Pakistan, and lets not forget OBL.Recommend

  • Someone
    Aug 7, 2015 - 2:36PM

    @saddavi: Who cares about EU and US? Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Aug 7, 2015 - 3:11PM

    “I can confirm that Mullah Omar neither died nor was buried in Pakistan and his sons’ statements are on record to support this,” the defence minister said,

    Why not ask the supremo Obama of NSA, who once claimed that Pakistan is hiding fugitives in summer garrison resorts?

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Muqaddam Khan
    Aug 7, 2015 - 5:32PM

    Afghan situation is marred by controversies, one after other. This situation is expected to continue for the coming several years in one shape or another, destabilizing Pakistan and Afghanistan.Recommend

  • Khurram
    Aug 7, 2015 - 7:41PM

    Sir would it not be much better if Pakistan Government Ministers choose not to make any statement on controversial matters and successfully keep a mystique and an image of credibility about the Government they serve in rather than becoming a laughing stock and making fool of themselves. Everyone knew all along Osama bin Laden, Mullaha Omar and Ayaman Al Jawahiri were/are in Pakistan protected by the Pak Army directly or indirectly. It really does not matter to an ordinary person like myself where and when did he die or if he still alive and those people whom he mattered already know the truth where when he died, Pakistan got much needed cash and arms from the US in recent months as a reward for such information and help thus matter closed let people keep guessing. Statements such as yours are indicative of nothing more than a guilt ridden mindset.Recommend

  • Mohammad Saleem
    Aug 8, 2015 - 6:29AM

    His statement about the death of the terrorists ring leader Mullah Omar, is a big lie He has been eliminated for obvious reason in Pakistan, as he could perhaps no longer serve and advance his masters’ agenda. Pakistani officials’ duplicity is a matter of undisputed recordRecommend

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