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Taliban convene key meetings in their safe havens in Pakistan: CoAS

Gen.-ShaheemThe Taliban group leaders are convening key meetings in their safe havens inside the Pakistani soil, a top Afghan defense official said Wednesday.

The Chief of Army Staff General Qadam Shah Shaheem told reporters in Kabul that the Taliban gatherings, including meetings to pledge allegiance are taking place in Pakistan.

Gen. Shaheem also criticized the cross-border shelling by Pakistani military in eastern provinces and said the Afghan leadership is hopeful that the provocative acts are immediately stopped.

According to Gen. Shaheem, the Taliban group is facing unity challenges and their central command has been weakened which he says is a good news for the Afghan armed forces.

The remarks by Gen. Shaheem comes as reports emerged earlier this week that the Haqqani terrorist network has played a key role in resolving the leadership issues of the Taliban group.

According to local media reports in Pakistan, the Haqqani network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani intervened to resolve the issues of the Taliban leadership and managed to secure key posts Mullah Omar’s son and brother in Taliban leadership council.

The report emerged days before the Taliban group announced their spring offensive and vowed to carry out more attacks across the country as the group’s insurgency enters to its 15th year.

The Afghan officials have long been criticizing Pakistan for supporting the anti-government armed militant groups by providing them with shelters inside their soil.

Although the Pakistani officials have repeatedly denied support to the Taliban group but the country’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz earlier acknowledged the Pakistan has influence on Taliban leaders which could be used as a leverage to force the group to participate in peace talks. -KP


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