'Was right under their nose in Kabul': Taliban spokesperson divulges how he fooled US-Afghan forces

Mujahid told that he escaped so many times from the US and Afghan national forces that they started believing that Zabuillah Mujahid is just a ghost, a made-up character, and not a real person.

Shivani
Published on: 13 Sep 2021 1:19 PM GMT
Was right under their nose in Kabul: Taliban spokesperson divulges how he fooled US-Afghan forces
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'Was right under their nose in Kabul'

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When Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid addressed a press conference in person after the Taliban captured Afghanistan, many media personalities expressed disbelief as they used to think that Zabiullah is a made-up name and not a real person. The same perception helped Zabiuallah stay right under the nose of the US and the Afghan forces in Kabul for years. It is his secret recce that might have given an edge to the Taliban against the Afghanistan army, the Taliban leader has proudly admitted in an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune.

'Was right under their nose in Kabul'

"I lived in Kabul for a long time, right under everyone's noses. I roamed the width and breadth of the country. I also managed to have first-hand access to the frontlines, where the Taliban carried out their actions, and up to date information. It was quite puzzling for our adversaries," Mujahid told.

Mujahid told that he escaped so many times from the US and Afghan national forces that they started believing that Zabuillah Mujahid is just a ghost, a made-up character, and not a real person.

The 43-year-old Taliban leader said he never left Afghanistan. He had travelled to many places to attend seminaries, even to Pakistan, but never thought of leaving the country forever, despite being under the constant man-hunt of the US and the Afghan forces.

The US forces used to pay local people a good amount of money to know about his whereabouts but he somehow managed to escape their radar, the spokesperson added.

Recounting his childhood, the spokesperson told The Express Tribune that he was enrolled at a normal school at the very beginning but was soon shifted to a madrassa and was on the path of religious education. He also stayed at Haqqani seminary in Nowshera, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. He joined the Taliban at the age of 16 years and never saw founder Mullah Umar.

About the popular perception about his 'non-existence, he confirmed that Zabiullah is his actual name. "Mujahid, however, is something my seniors in the Tehreek started calling me," he said.

After the Taliban captured Kabul, the group attempted to project a moderate image and a press meet was called which was addressed by Zabiuallah. Over time, the group also claimed that the Taliban leaders will not remain in theshadows as they did during the previous regime. Consequently, several leaders came before the press, answered questions and now that the interim cabinet has been formed, the Taliban are looking for international recognition.

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Shivani

Shivani

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