The three warlords have long-standing ties to Pakistan's powerful spy service, Inter-Services Intelligence, which U.S. officials have accused of collaborating with insurgent groups and tipping them to American strikes. The ISI has "a desire to maintain their status as leaders," said a senior U.S. military analyst, referring to the three chieftains, who represent one way for Pakistan to influence events in Afghanistan.
Despite their similar backgrounds, the three have clashed at times. Hekmatyar was a sworn enemy of the Taliban as it rose to power, and Haqqani formally allied himself with the movement only after it had seized power and offered him a cabinet post.
Hekmatyar is the most mercurial of the three. As an engineering student at Kabul University in the 1970s, he was accused of throwing acid in the faces of women who did not wear the veil.
Haqqani's group has been even more brazen. It has been linked to brutal attacks over the last year including strikes that killed seven at the Serena Hotel in Kabul and 54 at the Indian Embassy. The group is also believed responsible for a coordinated attack in August involving at least 10 suicide bombers at a large American military base, Camp Salerno, injuring three U.S. soldiers.
Mullah Omar, who is in his 40s and lost an eye as a fighter against the Soviets, remains a much more mysterious figure. His visage has been seen only in a few grainy photographs.
U.S. officials said as many as 14 groups are taking part in the insurgency in Afghanistan. But Omar, believed to be based in Quetta, Pakistan, remains the spiritual leader of what U.S. officials often refer to as the "Big T" Taliban, the core group of tribes displaced from power in Kabul in the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.
U.S. officials said Omar's location in a densely populated city put him out of reach of U.S. airstrikes. And his broad support among Pashtuns makes Pakistani authorities deeply reluctant to target him.
Excerpted from Source:
So send in a CIA sniper team to get him?
‘Outsiders’ banned in Orakzai
* Jirga decides to shoot locals harbouring ‘outsiders’, bans bearing of arms, men hiding faces, forms lashkar against Taliban
LAHORE/KHAR: A tribal jirga in Orakzai Agency has decided that ‘outsiders’ will not be allowed to enter the area, and anyone found providing shelter to ‘outsiders’ will be shot dead and his house set on fire, Express News reported on Sunday.
According to the channel, the Ali Khel jirga has also banned the ‘brandishing of arms’. It also instructed men to stop hiding their faces behind large cloths. The jirga also constituted a committee to destroy the Taliban training camp in the area, the channel said, adding that the Ali Khel and Feroze Khel tribes had formed a tribal lashkar to combat Taliban.
Taliban had started leaving the area. The local Taliban said they were leaving the area so that peace could be maintained and it should not be taken as their weakness, the channel added.
It said 14 Taliban, including local commander Abdusalam Ali Khel, had been released from Dabori area of Orakzai. Taliban had vacated a high school building and the Tali Fort in Ali Khel, while also clearing the road to Chapri Feroze Khel.
Meanwhile, thousands of tribal elders and ulema belonging to the Mandal, Charmang and Mamond tribes in Bajaur Agency announced their full support to the government in restoring peace in the area. The tribes made the announcement during grand jirgas held in their respective areas on Sunday. The jirgas also decided to form local lashkars to combat Taliban.
Meanwhile, only 15, 000 of an estimated 80,000 Afghans had left Bajaur despite a three-day ultimatum expiring Sunday, AP reported. daily times monitor/staff report