Pedagogy & The Educator!
The US forces had searched thoroughly the house in which he reportedly took refuge. However, they had failed to find him there! Surprisingly, Mullah Omar – the late founder-initiator of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan – used to live within walking distance of the US bases in the South Asian nation for years…
In his newly published book ‘The Secret Life of Mullah Omar’, Dutch journalist Bette Dam revealed that Omar had never taken shelter in neighbouring Pakistan, as the Afghan Mujahideen Commander led the terror outfit from his home province of Zabul in 1996-2001. Although the Afghan government had confirmed that ‘Omar died at a Karachi hospital on April 23, 2013‘, the Taliban leader actually took his last breath in the Afghan capital of Kabul!
The Dutch reporter revealed a plethora of explosive information about Omar in his publication… He was severely wounded four times…Exploding shrapnel destroyed one of Omar’s eyes during a battle in Sangsar (Panjwaye District) shortly before the 1987 Battle of Arghandab (against the Soviet forces). However, some Taliban fighters claimed that Omar had met with the accident in 1986 or during the Battle of Jalalabad in 1989… He also received a wrist injury in the late 1990’s…
It was widely believed that the one-eyed charismatic Taliban leader had taken shelter in the Pakistani port city of Karachi in 2013. However, Dam rubbished such a claim, stating that Omar used to live in Zabul, and the Taliban Leadership didn’t allow his family members to meet the Commander! The author further claimed that Omar had written a Diary in an imaginary language during his stay in Zabul.
According to Dam, he had met Jabbar Omari – the man who had become Omar’s bodyguard in 2001 and protected him until his death – five times to collect information about the ‘Taliban Supremo’. Omari informed the journalist that Omar used to live in a small house in Kalat, Zabul. Even the owner of the house had no idea who his guest was! The US forces conducted search operations in that area, but failed to trace the Taliban leader. Dam wrote: “The US forces nearly stumbled across Omar twice. The first time, a patrol came by as Omar and Omari were in the courtyard. Seized with fear at the sound of approaching footsteps, they hid behind a high pile of firewood and the soldiers passed without entering.” “The second time, US troops searched the house, but did not find the concealed entrance to the secret room,” said the author. Omari did not know whether the search was a routine patrol or in response to a tip-off.
Omar decided to leave the house in 2004, after the US forces started setting up a ‘Forward Operating Base (FOB) Lagman‘ in the area… Later, around 1,000 US soldiers were stationed at the base!
The Soviet War in Afghanistan, 1979
According to Omari, his boss did not use to talk much. Although he used an old Nokia phone, it had no SIM card. The Taliban chief used the phone only to record himself chanting verses from the Quran. The bodyguard further informed Dam that Omar was the ultimate decision-maker in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001!
Meanwhile, defence experts are of the opinion that Omar’s charisma boosted the terror outfit that had a number of branches. Unlike al-Qaeda (which faced troubles after the rise of the Islamic State terror outfit in Syria and Iraq), the Talibans managed to survive only because of Omar.
“Omar fell ill in 2013, coughing, vomiting and eventually losing his appetite, but he refused any form of medical care,” stressed Omari. The bodyguard had offered to bring to Omar a doctor, or drive him to Pakistan. However, Omar had resigned himself to his fate, and passed away on April 23.
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