Jan 20, 2011
Quetta Shura is now Karachi Shura
Quetta Shura is now Karachi Shura
By Ali K Chishti
In the light of recent revelations published by the Washington Post about Mulla Omar, who reportedly suffered a serious cardiac problem and underwent a major operation in Karachi, Daily Times would like to reminds its readers that it was Daily Times that first published a series of reports about certain Arab diplomats and the presence of the members of the Quetta Shura in Karachi.
Karachi, Pakistan’s financial hub, which has been struck by a series of ethnic, political and sectarian killings, which claimed more than 300 lives in the last two months, also happens to be the city where more than two dozens of the top al Qaeda, Taliban and TTP leaders have been caught. The list includes Quetta Shura No. # 2 Mullah Baradar, who only recently was claimed to have been let go for negotiations with other top terrorist leaders. It should also be noted that out of nine supposedly caught Quetta Shura members, five had been caught from Karachi alone.
There had been reports that most of the Afghan Taliban frontier leadership had been sheltered in Karachi under a Pakistani security establishment’s secret programme, the ‘New Karachi Project’. The whole notion that somehow most of the leadership of the Taliban was stationed in Quetta was a “proxy”, a top NATO source told Daily Times. “In reality it's the Karachi Shura.”
Intense investigations reveal that the whole project that initially started as “India centric” has actually taken a global dimension. It was somewhere in 2003, under intense US pressure, that ‘Forward Section 23’ in Azad Kashmir was closed, which provided ‘cover and refugee to top militants’. It was only after the closure of Forward Section 23, the ISI section in Karachi became the hub for anti-India activities from where the Mumbai train bombing to 26/11 were orchestrated. It should be remember that the boat used to travel to Mumbai to carry out the terrorist attack was bought from Karachi as well.
The ‘Karachi Project’ was confirmed by recent revelations from a double agent, David Headley, who had been involved in carrying out the massacre in Mumbai. He said in a recent testimony that he works under the direct supervision of Pakistan’s top intelligence agency, the ISI, which shelters infamous Mumbai mobster Daud Ibrahim to Tiger Memon, to the top tier leadership of the Taliban, which includes Mullah Omar. This explains a top Middle Eastern intelligence official’s secret visit to Karachi, who was actively facilitating the negotiation process between Karzai, the US and the Afghan Taliban. It should be remembered that Mullah Baradar was caught from a Sunni-Deobandi-run religious seminary in Karachi. The seminary, Khudamul Quran, is located 10 to 25kms from the toll plaza on the Super Highway in the jurisdiction of the Lonikot police station in Hyderabad, which is under the influence of Jamaat-e-Islami and the JUI-F, whose leaders had previously been caught sheltering high-profile al Qaeda leaders like Sheikh Khaled Muhammad – the 9/11 mastermind. It is shelters like this particular seminary, along with many other “safe houses”, that are termed as “strategic assets” by the Pakistani security establishment.
The Taliban are known to have moved elements of their command to Karachi to avoid potential US targeting in Predator airstrikes, where Mullah Omar is thought to be in a safe house in Karachi, under the protection of the ISI. Since the beginning of February, the authorities have captured seven senior members of the Taliban Shura, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy of Mullah Omar, and four Taliban shadow governors of Afghan provinces, which include names such as Maulvi Abdul Kabir (shadow governor of Nangarhar province), Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir, who used to co-supervise the military affairs of the militia, Mullah Muhammad Hassan, a former foreign minister in the Taliban regime, Mullah Abdul Rauf, the former chief operational commander of the Taliban in northeastern Afghanistan, Mullah Ahmad Jan Akhundzada, the former governor of Zabul province and Mullah Muhammad Younis, an ex-Kabul police chief.