Officials say the man undertook dozens of foreign trips over a 10-year period.
Slain Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour used a Pakistani passport under a false name to make dozens of foreign trips over a 10-year period, mainly to the United Arab Emirates, officials told AFP on Tuesday.
The revelation casts further light on the degree of assistance likely given by Islamabad to him and other senior Taliban figures as they orchestrated a deadly insurgency against Afghan and U.S.-led troops.
After years of denial, Pakistan in March openly admitted it was providing shelter to Afghan Taliban members forced to flee their own country after they were toppled from power in 2001. Mansour, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike inside Pakistani territory on Saturday along with a driver, was traveling with a passport and ID card bearing the name “Muhammad Wali.”
Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the government could not confirm that it was Mansour’s body. “We will be able to confirm only when we get the results of a DNA report,” Khan told a press conference in Islamabad Tuesday. Khan said that a sample for a DNA test was taken from a blood relative of Mansour who requested Pakistani authorities to hand over the body.
Three investigation officials said Mansour used the passport for extensive travel, mainly between Karachi and Dubai in the U.A.E. but also to Iran. He traveled 37 times, mostly to Dubai from Karachi, during the last 10 years, a senior investigating official told AFP.
The official said Mansour first used the passport to travel to Dubai from Karachi in March 2006. A second official confirmed the trips, adding: “He also traveled to Dubai from Quetta on July 16, 2015.” The official said he last left for Iran on April 25 and returned on the morning of May 21, the day he fell victim to the drone strike.
An immigration official on Sunday told AFP that “Wali” had changed euros to Pakistani rupees after crossing the border to the town of Taftan.
Iran has denied Mansour entered and left on those dates. “We are now trying to ascertain how he managed to secure a Pakistani identity card and passport and who he was visiting in Dubai,” a third investigating official said.
Khan said that he could not “100 percent confirm” that the passport was being used by the person traveling in the car. “Last year intelligence agencies informed me about this ID card and they suspected that the holder of this card was an Afghan and this card was cancelled and the passport department was told to cancel the passport also,” Khan said.
The minister admitted there was corruption in Pakistan’s National Database Registration Authority and passports department. He said he had sacked 614 officials and that 65 others were arrested for involvement in issuing ID cards and passports to non-Pakistanis.
The Taliban maintain a “political office” in Qatar and have also been known to host meetings in Dubai. Mansour was appointed head of the Taliban in July 2015. His death has been confirmed by U.S. President Barack Obama.