No Taliban 'shura' in Quetta: Malik

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London, Sep.29 (ANI): Pakistan has rejected the notion that the Taliban's leadership council (shura) is operating from Quetta, Balochistan.

Interior Miniter Rehman Malik rebuffed claims made by the US and Britain regarding the presence of top Taliban commanders in Quetta.

"Over and again this topic has been coming up. But according to us the Quetta shura does not exist in Quetta," Malik said.

"What we are requesting the US and the UK and all other stakeholders is to please give us real-time information. If you know that they are present you must be knowing their names, details ... if there is any sign of Quetta shura, we will smash it," The Daily Times quoted Malik, as saying.

It is worth mentioning here that US ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson, recently, expressed concerns over the Quetta Shura, saying the issue was on top of the Obama administration's agenda.

"In the past, we focused on al-Qaeda because they were a threat to us. The Quetta Shura mattered less to us because we had no troops in the region. Now our troops are there on the other side of the border, and the Quetta Shura is high on Washington's list," Patterson said.

Just days ago, General Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, also warned that Afghan insurgency was being fanned by Taliban leader based in Pakistan.

General McChrystal, in his report to the Obama Administration said senior leaders of the major Afghan insurgent groups are based in Pakistan, are linked with Al Qaeda and other violent extremist groups, and are reportedly aided by some elements of Pakistan's ISI.

"Al-Qaeda and other extremist movements "based in Pakistan channel foreign fighters, suicide bombers, and technical assistance into Afghanistan, and offer ideological motivation, training, and financial support," General McChrystal said. (ANI)

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