Taliban leader Mullah Omar lives in the Pakistani city of Quetta under the protection of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, ISI.
While this assertion by a Taliban spokesman captured by Afghan forces was immediately rejected by Pakistan as 'absurd and baseless,' it supports Kabul's repeated belief that the Taliban, which has aggressively stepped up its violence in Afghanistan, is being supported by Islamabad.
Omar, whose refusal to hand over Osama bin Laden after 9/11 led to the US invasion of Afghanistan, remains at large despite the $10 million reward being offered for any information which could lead to his capture. He was last seen in 2001 in the Afghan town of Kandahar, days before it fell to American forces.
There have been repeated claims, including by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, that the one-eyed Omar and his band of Taliban are sheltered by tribals living along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Text: Ramananda Sengupta
Photograph courtesy: www.rewardsforjustice.net
Also see: Jihad, not talks: Mullah Omar