Islamabad, Mar. 22 (ANI): Mullah Muhammad Rasool, the chief of a breakaway faction of the Afghan Taliban, has been detained by the Pakistani authorities.
The two Taliban leaders, who claimed his detention, did not mention when Rasool was taken into custody. They, however, confirmed that he fled recent infighting in southern Afghanistan.
“I can confirm that Mullah Rasool has been arrested by authorities in Pakistan after he crossed the border,” express tribune quoted one of the Taliban leaders as saying.
Another Taliban leader in Rasool’s camp also confirmed his detention.
Last November, Rasool was chosen by several Taliban cadres to head them after they opposed Mullah Akhtar Mansoor’s ascendency to head the splinter group.
Dozens of Taliban insurgents, including the breakaway faction’s deputy chief Mullah Mansoor Dadullah and his brother, were killed when Mullah Mansoor’s loyalists launched a major offensive against dissidents in Zabul province.
The loyalist of Mullah Mansoor captured the areas in Khak-e-Afghan district of Zabul after clashes in mid-November. While Mullah Rasool and his second deputy Abdul Manan Niazi managed to escape. The rival factions of Taliban have recently been engaged in clashes in Herat province.
Rasool was the part of a Taliban delegation that had arrived in Islamabad in July last year for peace talks but he has not yet come up with a policy about negotiations under the Quadrilateral Coordination Group.
Meanwhile, a Taliban leader informed that a top-level delegation of Afghan Taliban military leaders had recently visited Iran in an effort to increase cooperation in view of the emerging threats from the Islamic State, also known by its Arabic acronym Dai’sh, in Afghanistan.
However, Taliban spokeman said the he was unaware about the visit. (ANI)