Ahmad Shah Masoud provides shelter to most wanted terrorists

The Frontier Post, April 16, 1999

PESHAWAR - Some of the most wanted terrorist, belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), have taken refuge with the Tajik warlord Ahmad Shah Masoud in northern Afghanistan, it has been learnt on good authority.

It is instructive to point out here that many MQM hard-core activists, wanted by the law-enforcing agencies for their alleged involvement in heinous crimes, have gone either underground or left the country so as to escape the crackdown in urban Sindh.

According to reliable Afghan sources, some alleged terrorists belonging to the MQM have been spotted at Jabul-i-Siraj, and some other areas under the control of anti-Taliban northern alliance in recent weeks.

To provide a safe heaven for their party activists in Afghanistan, key MQM leaders met the opposition ambassador Wali Masoud, who is also a brother of Ahmad Shah Masoud, in London some time back, confided the sources.

Following these high-level contacts between the MQM leaders and Masoud's representatives, workers of the Karachi-based ethnic group were provided shelter in Parwan and Takhar provinces, currently under the control of Masoud.

Most of the MQM activists crossed into Afghanistan via a neighbouring Muslim country, added these sources.

Majority of them used Quetta as base camp for their onward journey to Afghanistan, while few of them proceeded via Peshawar.

The exact number and names of these MQM activists, taking asylum in Masoud-controlled areas, however, is still not known but travelers coming from these areas confirmed the presence of these terrorists in Jabul-i-Siraj. The presence of MQM activists in the areas, controlled by the anti-Taliban opposition, has added a new dimension to the Pakistani internal politics.

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