After operating out of Pakistan for over a decade, Afghan Taliban leaders might have moved back to their homeland to establish their permanent presence, reported the associated press on Sunday.
If confirmed, the move would be a sign of the Taliban’s confidence in their fight against the US-backed government in Kabul and could also indicate an attempt by the militants to distance themselves from Pakistan.
Since 2001, the Taliban has allegedly been living in Pakistani cities, including Quetta, Karachi and Peshawar. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the leadership shura, or council, relocated to Afghanistan ‘some months ago’, although he kept the location confidential.
One Taliban official said the shura had moved to southern Helmand province, which the rioters consider to be part of their heartland and where most of their funds are produced. The official refused to be identified because of security reasons.
Other Taliban sources said the justice, recruitment and religious councils had also moved to southern Afghanistan, the statements could not be independently confirmed.
Afghan president Ashraf Ghani’s office said it has no confirmation regarding the matter of the Taliban’s movement to Afghanistan. “No intelligence confirms that the Taliban has shifted its shura to Afghanistan,” said Haroon Chakhansuri, Ghani’s spokesman. “We still believe they are still operating in their safe havens outside Afghanistan.”
Mujahid however, said Kabul officials knew about what the Taliban is doing, provoked by combat zone picks up that the radicals accepted would place them in a solid position once chats with the Afghan government went for completion the war were restarted. Exchange separated not long ago.
A senior Taliban authority, Asad Afghan, told The Associated Press the move would unite the radicals’ military picks up and help lay the ground for a prevailing position if and when peace talks continue.
“We are in the last phases of war and are pushing ahead,” said Afghan, who is firmly required in planning the guerillas’ war system. “We are the genuine government in Afghanistan,” he said. The move over the outskirt would give the development “more concentration” at once it should be “speedy, clear and more secure about our choices.”