Quetta Shura may prevail despite arrest of 7 of 15 top Taliban leaders

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Kabul, Feb. 26 (ANI): After the arrest of seven of 15 top leaders of the Quetta Shura, the Afghanistan Taliban may have come under intense pressure, but the formation of other such terror council cannot be ruled out, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

The Quetta Shura is said to act as a nerve centre for all of the Afghan Taliban's operations, formulating military and political strategy, appointing field commanders, and managing a shadow government.

The paper quoted two Taliban figures and Afghan intelligence officials as saying that a roster of experienced Taliban leaders awaits to take over the role of their arrested comrades'.

The Taliban's control over some parts of Afghanistan is so strong that even United Nation's World Food Program has to seek permission from the Quetta Shura to enter the region.

In addition to the top council, the Taliban relies on a number of other shuras to oversee the insurgency, the report says.

Mullah Abdul Qayoum Zakir, who was arrested in Pakistan's recent crackdown, headed two such bodies.

Like the top council, these two shuras are based in Quetta, Pakistan, and are responsible for military affairs in southern and western Afghanistan, including resistance to the ongoing United States-led offensive in the town of Marjah.

A third council is based in the North Waziristan town of Miram Shah, where insurgent leader Sirajuddin Haqqani directs the Taliban's operations in the southeast, according to former insurgents and Afghan intelligence officials.

Haqqani is considered one of the most dangerous foes of the Western forces, and has been behind a number of high-profile attacks in recent years.

A fourth shura, based in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, serves as the hub for Taliban operations in the eastern and northern parts of Afghanistan.

While the recent crackdown may put pressure on the Taliban, the movement has survived the loss of senior leaders before. (ANI)

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