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Fearing Pakistan’s deceit: Some Taliban leaders returned to Kandahar

AT-KABUL: A number of Taliban leaders, including family members of Mullah Omar, the former Taliban leader, have returned to Kandahar, fearing a possible treason by Pakistani authorities to hand them over to the United States.

Up to 15 Taliban members, including former shadow governors and districts chiefs along with their families, have recently returned and settled in a safe area of Kandahar, Provincial Police Chief, General Abdul Raziq, has recently told newsmen.

He claimed these people have returned with mediation of the local tribal elders on his own initiative, and the peace council of the country had no role to negotiate any deal with them.

The commander furthered, some of the family members of the former Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, were also among the returned families, who have assumed a “normal and peaceful life.”

The police chief, who explained these families have returned during the past six months and were settled in Panjwai district of the province, hoped the returning process to continue in the future as a result of his efforts.

The initiative is welcomed by analysts and influential figures of the south, terming it a good omen to decrease Pakistan’s influence on Taliban, and this way prevent some of Taliban from fueling the war in the country.

“Instead to be detained and killed by Pakistani government, it would be better for these Taliban leaders to return to their homeland, and join peace process” Lalai Hameedzai, who represents Kandahar in Lower House of the Parliament, said.

Pakistan has long been criticized by the Afghan government and international community for harboring and supporting Taliban, who have been fighting against the Afghan and foreign forces for the past 16 years.

Pakistan over the years has detained those Taliban leaders who had been willing to reach a political settlement with the Afghan government, but has allegedly continued to support those who fight in their own country.

In the course of war, despite ignoring Afghanistan’s truth reflection over existence of Taliban’s safe sanctuaries in Pakistan, the United States in its new strategy acknowledged that Pakistan was harboring those militants on its soil who have been fighting US soldiers in Afghanistan.

US president, Donald Trump, has warned Pakistan’s support must stop “immediately” to the militants, otherwise Pakistan “has much to lose” by continuing to harbor terrorists.

Neither Pakistan nor Taliban commented on the arrival of the Taliban members in Kandahar.

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