ISI takes Mullah Omar to hospital after heart attack

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WASHINGTON - Pakistan spy agency ISI rushed Afghan Taliban leader, the one-eyed Mullah Omar, to hospital after he suffered a heart attack earlier this month. He was treated at a hospital in Karachi, said a report prepared by a private intelligence network.

The Washington Post reported that the elusive Taliban leader had a heart attack Jan 7 and was treated for several days in a Karachi hospital with the help of Pakistan’s spy agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

The intelligence network, which runs under the auspices of a private company The Eclipse Group, said its source was a physician in the Karachi hospital.

The physician said he saw Mullah Omar trying to recover from an operation to put a stent in his heart.

“While I was not personally in the operating theater,” the doctor reported as saying, “my evaluation based on what I have heard and seeing the patient in the hospital is that Mullah Omar had a cardiac catheter complication resulting in either bleeding or a small cerebral vascular incident, or both.”

An US official from Kabul said: “No one on this end has heard this.”

But he quickly added that “it doesn’t mean it’s not true — we just have no information to confirm or dispute these facts”.

Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, Tuesday said the report “had no basis whatsoever”.

“Sometimes intelligence tips received by professionals turn out to be wrong. The story about Mullah Omar falls under that category. You might recall a similar story from 2001 about Osama bin Laden receiving dialysis treatment that turned out to be incorrect, and the fabrication of those who wanted to give Pakistan a bad name,” Haqqani was quoted as saying.

He went on to say that “Pakistani intelligence, military and law enforcement personnel continue to hunt down wanted Al-Qaeda and Taliban figures and will apprehend anyone if and when we have hard intelligence, which is very different from speculation circulated by contractors”.

The Washington Post cited the intelligence network report as saying that Omar was “rushed” to the hospital Jan 7 by the ISI.

The Eclipse report said: “The ISI rushed him to a hospital in Karachi, where he was given heparin (an anticoagulant) and operated on.”

“After 3-4 days of post-operative care in the hospital, he was released to the ISI and ordered to take absolute bed rest when at home for at least several days.”

The physician cited in the report said: “After the operation, there seemed to be some brain damage with Mullah Omar having slurred speech.”

“His post hospital course is consistent with this type of outcome.

“Three-four days in hospital is consistent with cardiac catheterization and or cardiac stent placement. Bed rest and aphasia (difficulty speaking) post-catheterisation could be from a bleeding complication.”

The Eclipse report cited a separate source in the Quetta Shura as saying that “Mullah Omar is continuing to improve and his speech is clearing”.

The Quetta Shura is the Taliban governing council on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.

It also said the ISI was keeping the Quetta shura “informed” about Omars recovery at an ISI guest house in Karachi under ISI guard.

Filed under: Terrorism

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