Dadullah says he is indispensable to Taliban

January 10, 2008

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TANK, Jan 9: A Taliban leader on Wednesday denied reports about his expulsion from the radical movement and claimed he was ‘indispensable’ to the militia.

Mullah Mansoor Dadullah said: “I have not been expelled from the movement. I have served the Taliban and without me the movement would stand nowhere.”

He insisted that Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar had not issued any order about his expulsion. “This is enemy propaganda. They want to harm the Taliban movement,” he said, in a telephone conversation with this reporter.

Dismissing reports that he had been expelled because of his close ties with Al Qaeda, Mullah Dadullah said: “There is no doubt that I love Al Qaeda. We maintain close contacts with them and we exchange information.” He also said that it was because of Al Qaeda that the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” had been toppled by foreign forces.

He said that Al Qaeda was part of the Taliban and obeyed Mulla Omar’s instructions.

He denied that having met Osama bin Laden but said he frequently met Mustafa Abu Yazid, Al Qaeda’s local commander, for “exchanging information and learning tactics”.

He said that he had succeeded his brother as a ‘commander’ and like his brother he too had a number of suicide bombers ‘loyal’ to him.

Mullah Dadullah said that the Taliban in “Afghanistan and Pakistan also exchanged information and helped each other”.

Deriding the defection of Mullah Abdus Salam and his subsequent appointment as mayor of Musa Qilla in Helmand province, he said: “Defection of people like Abdus Salam cannot harm our movement. We have thousands of fighters to carry on the struggle against foreign forces.”

He also claimed to have spoken with Mullah Naseebullah, another Taliban ‘commander’ who, according to media reports, had escaped from Kabul’s notorious Pul-i-Charkhi prison.