Afghan and US commanders considering Kandahar & Quetta to be next big stops in insurgency fight

In recent recommendations by the top American commander in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, is exerting pressure to add another 40,000 troops on top of the 68,000 Americans already deployed there.

The report by Gen McChrystal, last week got leaked to the media, in which he have assessed three main Taliban groups. The report identifies these groups as Quetta Shura Taliban (QST), Haqqani network (HQN) and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin.

Quetta and Kandahar

This group is operating from Quetta, Pakistan under the command of Mullah Omer, the Afghan Taliban Leader, the report narrates.

"The QST has been working to control Kandahar and its approaches for several years and there are indications that their influence over the city and neighboring districts is significant and growing,” the report states.

Based on the premise of McCrystal’s report, US Diplomats in Pakistan are lobbying for Mullah Omer’ s presence in Quetta, asserting, “If Pakistan did not get rid of Mullah Omar, the United States would.”

While the insurgency is predominantly Afghan, McChrystal writes that it "is clearly supported from Pakistan. Senior leaders of the major Afghan insurgent groups are based in Pakistan, are linked with al Qaeda and other violent extremist groups, and are reportedly aided by some elements of Pakistan’s ISI," which is its intelligence service. Al-Qaeda and other extremist movements "based in Pakistan channel foreign fighters, suicide bombers, and technical assistance into Afghanistan, and offer ideological motivation, training, and financial support."

On the other hand, the Interior Minister of Pakistan has said that Mullah Omar is in Kandahar and not in Pakistan.

Denying the reports that the ISI is supporting the Taliban, Rehman Malik said, ”Pakistan’s intelligence agency has spared no effort to combat "terrorism.”

Rehman Malik’s statement was backed by the successful operation in Swat against Talibans. “We have managed to break the back bone of terrorists and realizing our successful strategy in Swat, the US is thinking of applying the same strategy in Afghanistan,” Director General Inter Service public relation stated last month.