Karachi: Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour, killed in a US airstrike in Balochistan, was a frequent flyer and used a Pakistani passport for his visits abroad for over nine years, a media report said today.
Mansour was coming to Quetta from Taftan, Balochistan, when his car came under the drone attack, killing him and his driver.
A passport and a computerised national identity card found near the burnt car bore the name of Muhammad Wali. It is suspected that Mansour carried fake travel papers, Dawn News reported.
While Pakistan has not officially stated that the person killed in the drone strike was Mansour, US President Barack Obama has confirmed that the man killed was the Taliban supremo, believed to be in his early 50s.
'Wali' frequently travelled between Karachi and Dubai, and Iran via the Pakistani border town of Taftan. He had returned to Taftan from Iran on 21 May and was killed the same day at around 3 pm (local time) by a US drone in the Kochki area of Nushki district, the report said, citing a senior official of an investigation agency.
"'Wali' had a Pakistani passport and was travelling on it with a valid visa of Iran and Dubai," the official said, adding that the passport was twice issued to him from the Quetta passport office — first in 2006 and then in October 2011, after the previous one had expired.
"The passport was valid up to October 2016," the official said.
The national identity card, too, was issued to 'Wali' from Quetta in 2002 and after completion of its 10 years' validity it was renewed from Karachi.
The official claimed that 'Wali' was a frequent flyer and 70 per cent of his travel originated from Karachi airport while once he flew from Quetta airport.
He started travelling abroad on 12 March, 2006, and flew to Dubai from Karachi airport. His last travel on 31 March, 2015 was also from Karachi to Dubai, the report said.
"He visited Dubai 18 times using Karachi airport on valid visas and once from Quetta airport," another senior government official was quoted as saying. "We have no idea what the purpose of his frequent visits to Dubai was," the official said.
As regards his visits to Iran, he travelled to Iran twice through the Taftan border crossing.
"He first went to Iran on 19 February, 2016, and returned to Pakistan through the Taftan border town on 10 March, 2016," the official said, adding that he again travelled to Iran on 25 April this year and returned to Pakistan through the same route on 21 May.
The man believed to be Mansour hired a car at Taftan to travel up to Quetta. He had lunch at Padak near the Dalbandin area of Chagai district before resuming the journey. However, before reaching Quetta his car came under the drone attack, the report said citing sources.
The man who was killed in the US drone strike had been operating out of Karachi for the last few years and had 17 children from two wives, another media report said.
'Wali' travelled atleast ten times on a Pakistani passport issued from Karachi made nine trips to Dubai and to Bahrain.
"He flew out from the Karachi international airport 10 times," the report said. The report said that investigations had confirmed that 'Wali' had purchased apartments in Bismillah Terrace near Sohrab Goth on the outskirts of Karachi where he resided with his first wife, Shahina who bore him 11 children.
'Wali' had also married the daughter of Muhammad Ismail in 2006 in Karachi. The report said Wali had six children from his second wife.
Reports said that the intelligence agencies had yesterday taken Wali's first wife and children into custody after they vanished from Bismillah terrace and hid in an Afghan colony.
Published Date: May 24, 2016 16:47 PM | Updated Date: May 24, 2016 16:47 PM