ISLAMABAD: Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif while addressing the National Assembly on Friday said that the Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar did not die in Pakistan nor was he buried here.
He said that the Afghan Taliban leader was neither in Quetta nor in Karachi, adding that Pakistan does not want to be involved in controversy pertaining to Taliban leadership. Asif also clarified that the Afghan Taliban leader was not treated in a hospital in Karachi.
Asif said that statements made by Mullah Omar's family prove that he died in Afghanistan and was buried there as well.
He further said that Pakistan wants peace in the region and is playing its role as a facilitator in negotiations between the Afghan Taliban and the Afghan government. He added that an atmosphere of peace can be established in the region by ensuring peace in Afghanistan.
Last month, Afghanistan announced that Mullah Omar, the reclusive leader of the Afghan Taliban movement, died more than two years ago in Karachi.
“The government ... based on credible information, confirms that Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Taliban died in April 2013 in Pakistan,” the Afghan presidential palace had said in a statement.
Afghanistan's main intelligence agency had also said that the Taliban leader had died in a Karachi hospital in April 2013, after a BBC report earlier claimed the reclusive Taliban leader had died two or three years ago.
Later, the Afghan Taliban confirmed the death of their leader Mullah Omar but did not say when or where he died. The statement said “his [Mullah Omar's] health condition deteriorated in the last two weeks” and “not for a single day did he go to Pakistan”.
Omar's death marks a significant blow to the Taliban, which is riven by internal divisions and threatened by the rise of the self-styled Islamic State group, the Middle East jihadist outfit that is making steady inroads in Afghanistan.
According to DawnNews sources, the Afghan Taliban held meetings after the reported death of Mullah Omar, and after consultation between members of the Shura Council, elected Mansoor as their new chief.
Meanwhile, a fresh round of peace talks between the militants and the Afghan government, planned for last week, were postponed, according to Islamabad.
A Foreign Office statement last week said the Taliban leadership had asked for the postponement “in view of the reports regarding the death of Mullah Omar and the resulting uncertainty”.