KABUL: The new supreme leader of the Afghan Taliban Mawlavi Haibatullah Akhundzada was openly teaching and preaching in a mosque in Balochistan province of Pakistan before he was appointed to succeed Mullah Akhtar Mansoor who was killed in US drone strike in Pakistan.
The mosque, Al Haaj mosque, where Mawlavi Akhundzada was teaching and preaching is located in Kuchlak, near the city of Quetta, the associates and students of Akhundzada told Reuters.
According to Reuters, the latest disclosures regarding Akhundzada could put further pressure on Pakistan to do more to crack down on militants openly living there.
Akhundzada was appointed the supreme leader of the Taliban group in May, days after Mullah Mansoor was targeted in a US drone strike in the vicinity of Balochistan province of Afghanistan.
He is believed to be hiding after taking charge of the group with his associates and students saying “Once he became Emir, he left with his whole family.”
Hafiz Abdul Majeed, who runs the Al Haaj mosque, told Reuters that he himself studied for several years under Akhundzada.
“You can’t teach religion and run (the Taliban’s) government at the same time. And it would of course have been dangerous for us and the students and the mosque if he remained here,” he added.
This comes as the Afghan officials have long been criticizing Pakistan for remaining reckless to act against the leadership councils of the Taliban and the notorious Haqqani terrorist network based in Peshawar and Quetta cities of Pakistan.
The Afghan officials also accuse the Pakistani military, specifically the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) for supporting the Afghan militants. -KP
THE PASHTUN TIMES