Quetta Shura exists, no longer threat: Pak defense minister

Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Amir al Mumineen (“the commander of the faithful”) of the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.

Dawn reported that Pakistan’s defense minister admitted Mullah Omar’s Quetta Shura is in Pakistan, but said it is no longer a threat:

The government has admitted the existence of the Afghan Taliban’s Quetta shura for the first time, and says it has taken them on.

In an exclusive interview with DawnNews, Defence Minister, Ahmad Mukhtar said security forces have taken on the Quetta shura and have damaged it to such an extent that it no longer poses any threat.

A recent report by General Stanley McChrystal, the top US Commander in Afghanistan, alleged that the top Taliban leadership was in Quetta and that they were master-minding attacks on international forces in Afghanistan.

However, until this admission by the Defence Minister – the government has so far denied the existence of any Taliban leadership or the Quetta shura – in Balochistan’s capital.

Defense Minister Mukhtar’s claims are highly suspect, to put it mildly. There have been no reports of members of the Quetta Shura killed or captured. And that is something that couldn’t be suppressed for long. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that the arrest or death of Omar at the hands of the Pakistanis would have an effect on the Taliban greater by an order of magnitude than the government’s assault on the Red Mosque in Islamabad. Any move against Omar would ignite Taliban groups led by Mullah Nazir, the Haqqanis, and Hafiz Gul Bahadar, not to mention the pro-Taliban political parties in Pakistan.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • tim says:

    I am pulling the BS flag on this one Bill! The Indian threat seems to be on the forefront of the Pakistan defense ministers mind, legitimate the threat. However I would urge the defense minister to use his post to acknowledge that the Afghan Taliban that houses AQ will be the first to strike inside Pakistan and not India.
    Also is this a public statement condemming the oncoming targeting of the Quetta shura?

  • Jeff says:

    I agree with Tim. It appears that Pakistan grows more irritated with India, as India distances itself (ideologically, economically, militarily, etc.) from Pakistan.
    I have read allegations (not sure if it was here) that Pakistan believes India to be playing a proxy war in order to generate some sphere of influence in the decision making process of Afghanistan. To me, this seems like a strange claim, as it almost always follow a security breach within Pakistan (from an act of violence, or what have you).
    But, you know, who would have thought twenty years ago that the United States would be requesting reinforcements for a war in Afghanistan. Seemingly lofty expectations of a country to have higher sensibility of cost-benefit analysis seems to be at ends with what is realistic.

  • Paul says:

    I read recently that the Shura were moved by the ISI to Karachi.
    Any truth in this?

  • grh says:

    The Pakistan Defense Minister is saying this because the shura moved to Karachi. I know that is being cynical; however that is the way “it”

  • Bungo says:

    Great analysis grh. I would be interested to know your latest scenario of future developments i.e. where do you think this is all leading (short term and long term) ?


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