05/30/2016, 14.09
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The late Taliban chief Mansur travelled to Dubai “several times” to raise funds

by Pierre Balanian

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have funded the Taliban in Afghanistan (and still do). In ten years, Mullah Mansur frequently travelled abroad via Pakistan in violation of the UN embargo, including at least 18 trips to Dubai to meet Afghan and Arab businessmen.

Kabul (AsiaNews) – Not a single day goes by without the US realising how ambiguous its relationship is with its allies in the Muslim world.

The latest evidence comes from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. According to Bloomberg, both Arab Gulf states have funded and continue to fund the Taliban in Afghanistan.

No one can remain indifferent to this. For the United States, the war in Afghanistan has come with a price tag of 2,200 American soldiers and 700 billion dollars in military expenditures since it began in 2001.

A week ago (23 May), US President Barack Obama announced the death of Taliban leader, Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Mansour, killed in a drone strike, which the Taliban confirmed three days later.

Hibatullah Akhundzada has since been picked as his successor. Under the Taliban emirate, he was chief Justice of the Sharia Courts.

According to reports from the US news agency Bloomberg, which spoke via telephone with Taliban spokesman Zabih Mujahid Allah, the dead leader made several trips abroad in the last ten years via Pakistan. For example, Mansour went to Dubai 18 times and Bahrain once, the official said.

Mansour used a Pakistani passport, travelling frequently by plane out of (and back to) Karachi airport under the alias Wali Mohammad to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain.

This is hard to fathom since Mansour had been on a United Nations no-fly list since 2001.

If confirmed, this would explain the Taliban’s huge secret funds, which many secret services attributed to drug trafficking, illegal mining, ransom money, and other illegal activities.

In Dubai, he met with unnamed Afghan and Arab businessmen to discuss the “Afghan holy war and raise funds for Taliban operations in Western-occupied Afghanistan,” Mujahed said.

For their part, Afghan authorities are "conducting the necessary inquiries about Mullah Mansur’s foreign travels," said Zafar Hashemi, deputy spokesman to President Ashraf Ghani. For now, he could not provide further information.

Meanwhile in Pakistan, Foreign ministry spokesman Nafis Zakaria confirmed that a Wali Mohammed had entered the country five hours before Mullah Mansur’s death was made public.

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