Karachi, Oct 28(ANI): The Taliban in Afghanistan have for the first time publicly admitted receiving help from members of Pakistan's ruling establishment, according to a media report.
The Taliban issued an unprecedented condolence statement on the death of right-wing Pakistani politician Maulana Abdul Ghani, who had died in a car crash on 26 October in Pakistan's Balochistan province, the BBC reports.
His political party, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), has close links to Pakistan's military, and was part of the governing coalition until earlier this year, the report said.
The Pakistan leadership has always denied any links to the Taliban, but a spokesman for the group told the BBC in a statement that Maulana Ghani - a deputy leader of the JUI-F - was a "martyr for the cause of jihad" - and it would be difficult to replace him.
The Taliban's top leadership was in attendance - along with hundreds of local citizens and Taliban foot soldiers- when the former parliamentarian was laid to rest on Wednesday in his native town of Chaman in Balochistan, the report said, attributing to eyewitnesses.
Later, without giving details, a Taliban spokesman said that Maulana Ghani had shown what he called great courage in supporting the movement after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, according to the report.
Maulana Ghani's services and commitment for the cause of jihad would never be forgotten, he added. (ANI)