Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday Sign of Hope March 4th 2007

Taliban concede capture of Obaidullah, at last

From The News:

Though the Taliban initially denied the arrest of their former defence minister Mulla Obaidullah Akhund in Quetta, one of their important military commanders and a few other officials are now reluctantly admitting that the news of his capture appears to be true.

Requesting anonymity, the Taliban military commander told 'The News' that he was now 80 per cent convinced that Mulla Obaidullah has indeed been arrested. Speaking from an unknown location, he said he was earlier unable and unwilling to believe that one of their top military leaders has been netted.

"One indication that the reports of his arrest are true is the fact that most of our military commanders and spokesmen have turned off their satellite phones. This has happened in the past also whenever someone important among the Taliban was captured," he explained.

This Taliban commander has proved reliable in the past. He had confirmed the death of top Taliban military commander Mulla Akhtar Mohammad Usmani in a US and Nato airstrike in Helmand province in December last year at a time when Taliban spokesmen were vehemently denying the claim by Western forces about the target killing of one of the most wanted men in Afghanistan. Subsequently, the Taliban reluctantly confirmed Usmani's death.

Talking to 'The News', certain low-ranking Taliban officials said they are gradually coming around to believe the news about Mulla Obaidullah's arrest. "There is gloom in our ranks. Our Taliban comrades everywhere are sad. It would take some time to overcome the shock of the arrest," a Taliban official remarked.


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