Kabul: Reports originating in Afghanistan suggest that Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar may have been killed in Pakistan. The same report claimed that the shadowy Taliban leader has been out of contact with his followers for the past 11 days.
According to the report, Mullah Omar was apparently being ferried to a safe location somewhere in North Waziristan from the Balochi capital of Quetta when he was shot dead by an ex-ISI official accompanying him. Apparently he was accompanied by ex-ISI chief and long-time patron-in-chief of Islamic militants in Pakistan, Gen Hamid Gul.
Gen Gul has denied the story saying he has never met Mullah Omar in his life.
The news was circulated by Afghan news outlet TOLO news, a media outfit close to the Afghan government and its security agencies.
On the face of it the story does sound improbable as North Waziristan can hardly be described as a 'safe' place – it would easily rank as the most unsafe place on the planet. It is riddled with intelligence operatives of foreign powers, Pakistan's own ISI, and critically, is also the home base of the Haqqani Network, a militia closely identified with the ISI that maintains only a loose fraternal relationship with the Mullah Omar-led Taliban movement. The Haqaani family's contempt for the one-eyed Omar is a matter of record and it is very unlikely that Mullah Omar would like to settle down in such a friendless and hostile environment.
North Waziristan also experiences CIA drone strikes almost every alternate day and Mullah Omar's advent in this region would be welcomed by the Americans as it would give them a very even chance of getting him into the sights of a drone's missile.