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By Farzad Lameh
KABUL – Three recently captured Taliban organisers accused in a number of high-profile killings in northern Afghanistan have confessed their involvement in the assassinations, officials told Central Asia Online.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) earlier this month arrested the three, who are said to be organisers of a Taliban group linked to the killings of high ranking Afghan officials.
“The detainees have confessed ... their involvement in plots to kill Afghan officials in northern Afghanistan,” Lotfullah Mashal, spokesperson for the NDS, told Central Asia Online.
Qari Yaseen (alias Hekmat), Qari Hassan (alias Sabir) and Qari Muhibullah were studying in the Khwaja Mukhtar religious school in Taluqan, a city in Takhar Province in northern Afghanistan, Mashal said.
Mashal said they are connected to the Haqqani network based in North Waziristan.
“We call on Pakistan once again to fight against terrorism within its territory,” Mashal said.
“We caught them in northern Parwan Province while they were trying to flee from Afghanistan to Pakistan,” he said.
Mashal said the captured individuals took part in the assassinations of Takhar Provincial Police Chief Shah Jahan Noori, the 303 Pamir Zone Police commander Mohammad Dawood Dawood in May 2011, Kunduz Provincial Governor Mohmmad Omar in October 2010, and lawmaker Abdul Mutalib Baik in December.
One has to also highlight an important factor that most Afghans have an aversion for Pakistan, Wahid Monawar, an Afghan political analyst and former Afghanistan representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
“The majority of Afghans now associate theTaliban as Pakistani foot soldiers,” he explained.
Ahmad Waseeq, the leader of Refa party, agreed and said, “Most assassination plots are being co-ordinated in areas bordering with Afghanistan.”
There is no doubt that terrorist sanctuaries are based in Pakistan, and this has created problems for Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said.
The Afghan government is blaming Pakistani for not taking serious actions against terrorists, especially members of the Haqqani network in border areas with Afghanistan. Islamabad denies allegations that it is allowing terrorists to act with impunity.
To many Afghans, the notion of jihad is an idea concocted by the Taliban to indoctrinate Pakistani’s with ill intentions toward Afghanistan, Monawar said.
No doubt, this is a big achievement for the NDS, political analyst Tofan Waziri told Central Asia Online.
“It could weaken Taliban influence in northern Afghanistan,” Waziri added.
However, Pakistan has not ignored the problem of militants crossing the border into Afghanistan. On February 10, Pakistani officials arrested two people in Quetta in connection with last year’s assassination of High Peace Council Chairman and former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani.
Rabbani, who was leading peace talks aimed at ending the war, was killed in his home on September 20 by a suicide bomber wearing an exploding turban. The Afghan government said the killing was organised in Pakistan.