PESHAWAR, Nov 3: The former Afghan army chief, Gen Abdur Rahim Wardak, who arrived in Pakistan on an important assignment recently, has held meetings with former Mujahideen commanders and military officials of Afghanistan.

Pakhtoon by origin, Gen Wardak is known for the Nangarhar operation during the period of then president Najeebullah. He discussed the possibility of raising a national army to take control of Kabul and other key cities after dislodging the Taliban government, sources said.

Gen Wardak, who completed his education in America, had left the army in 1978 when Noor Mohammad Taraki came to power. He had joined the Afghanistan National Liberation Front led by Pir Syed Ahmad Gillani, who now heads the Assembly for Peace and National Unity of Afghanistan.

During Burhanuddin Rabbani’s interim government in early 1990s, Gen Wardak again joined the army and was appointed chief of army staff.

Sources said that Gen Wardak had held meetings with his old companions in Islamabad on Friday. “Gen Wardak’s only mission is to constitute a national army for the war-devastated Afghanistan,” a former commander who had met him, told Dawn.

Sources said that Gen Wardak is likely to meet US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on Sunday.

One of commanders who have met Gen Wardak is Haji Muhammad Zaman. Gen Wardak is believed to be having close association with some members of the US administration because of his role in war against the erstwhile Soviet Union.