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- Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - From Print Edition


PESHAWAR: Authorities in Pakistan termed as propaganda a report carried by sections of the Afghan media quoting a government source that 26 Afghan Taliban including Commander Maulvi Ismail had been killed by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies.


“Nothing of the sort happened anywhere in Pakistan. It is baseless and unfounded. There is no truth in this allegation,” security officials told The News on Monday. Afghan Taliban officials, when approached, said they were checking these reports and had nothing to say at this stage. “We have no comment to make,” a Taliban official stressed.


A report carried by sections of the Afghan media attributed the report to an Afghan government authority without specifying it but widely believed to be an intelligence agency. It claimed that Afghan Taliban Commander Maulvi Ismail was killed along with 25 other fighters by Pakistani intelligence agents for establishing contacts with the Afghan government and the US to hold peace talks. It said Maulvi Ismail and his men were also accused of conspiring to kill Afghan Taliban leader Mulla Mohammad Omar. The report said Maulvi Ismail was presently the deputy head of the Taliban military commission and had in the past served as “shadow” governor of Zabul province. It identified two other slain Afghan Taliban officials as Maulvi Shaheedkhel, “shadow” governor Laghman province and a Taliban intelligence figure Maulvi Ahmadullah Wror.


However, no government or security official in Pakistan was confirming the incident. Security officials strongly denied any such happening. Some Afghan Taliban sources informally told The News that Maulvi Ismail and eight of his accomplices were apprehended two weeks ago by Afghan Taliban authorities for defying orders not to establish direct contacts with Karzai government and the US. They said these men were brought from Helmand to the border town of Girde Jangal and then against taken to somewhere in Afghanistan’s border areas. These sources didn’t comfirm that Maulvi Ismail and his accomplices had been shot dead.