Senators Ask Govt to Find Mutasim’s Whereabouts
KABUL – A number of senators on Tuesday asked the government to intensify efforts at knowing the fate of a veteran Taliban leader Agha Jan Mutasim, who has been missing in the UAE. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoI) on Monday confirmed Agha Jan, who had launched a dialogue process with the Kabul administration, had gone missing in the gulf country.
Some Meshrano Jirga or upper house members said the government should urgently look for Mustasim’s whereabouts and make his fate known. A representative from central Daikundi province, Ali Akbar Jamshidi, said regional intelligence networks could be involved in Agha Jan’s disappearance because he a moderate Taliban leader and had been trying to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan.
He said the UAE was responsible to find Agha Jan because he was there when disappeared. His colleague Haji Amanullah held similar views, saying Mutasim went missing at a time when the government was nearing the opportunity to revive stalled peace talks with the Taliban. High Peace Council (HPC) representatives held a meeting with senior Taliban leaders invited by Mutasim in the UAE last month.
Other senators were also of similar views. But a lawmaker from central Bamyan province, Hedayatullah Rehayee, said the government should differentiate between friends and enemies. He said the Afghan government should not try to investigate about Taliban men killed or missing in foreign countries.
Meshrano Jirga speaker Fazal Hadi Muslimyar ordered the house International Affairs Commission to stay in contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for information on the fate of Agha Jan. He said it should be made clear first if Agha Jan had traveled to the UAE for his own political activities or to pave the ground for peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Shekib Mustaghni on Monday said Agha Jan had been playing an active role in the peace process. He said Afghan officials were in contact with senior UAE officials to determine the fate of Agha Jan. (Pajhwok)