Following the intervention of one-eyed Omar, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban formed a joint five-member 'shura' or council with other Pakistani militant groups yesterday to oversee an end to attacks on Pakistani forces, The News daily quoted its sources in the Taliban as saying.
Mullah Omar has not surfaced since the flight of the Taliban from Kabul in 2001 and according to reports is sheltering in and around Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's restive southwestern Balochistan province.
The new 'shura' includes the Haqqani network and powerful commanders of the groups led by Maulvi Nazeer and Hafiz Gul Bahadur who have already signed a peace deal with the Pakistan army. The new entrants into the shura are the factions of Pakistani Taliban led by Hakimullah Mehsud and Maulana Waliur Rahman from South Waziristan.
The moves to unite factions of Afghan and Pakistani Taliban comes in the wake of pressure by the US government on Islamabad to take military action against these groups believed to be a massed in North Waziristan.
The five-member 'shura' with other Pakistani militant groups made a pledge to "stop their fight against their own armed forces and instead focus their attention against the US-led forces in Afghanistan", The News said.