How Pakistan recruits for the Taliban
by Lawrence Sellin on 25 Aug 2017 7 Comments
In Panjgur, Balochistan, there are three mosques and madrasas that produce Jihadis for Pakistan’s proxy wars. According to local sources, the leader of the whole Jihadi network in Panjgur is Abdul Hai, who recruits Balochi young men to fight in Afghanistan via the Madrasa Khair ul Madaris Mahmoudia in the Sordo-Sarikoran area of Panjgur (GPS coordinates 26.976668  64.140607). At least three of his recruits were reportedly killed by US forces in Afghanistan: Jaseem son of Ashraf, a resident of Sordo; Abdul Malik; and Zafar, a resident of Sarikoran.


Mullah Abdul Ghani is currently living and teaching in the Madrasa Molana Ehtisham ul Haq, officially known as Madrasa Arabia Siraaj ul Uloom Farooqia located in the Chitkan area of Panjgur (GPS coordinates 26.955285  64.104428). His permanent residence is in the Mashkai region of Awaran district. Mullah Abdul Ghani fought in Afghanistan with the Taliban for whom he now recruits. Local sources say, from his Madrasa, Hamid son of Hassan Jan was sent to Afghanistan and survived. Another recruit, known as Habibullah son of Mohammad Essa, resident of Chitkan, Panjgur, was killed in Afghanistan.


The titular head of the Madrasa Jameh Masjid Umar is Nadeer son of Faqeer Mohammad, but the day-to-day operations are now run by his deputy Jabbar son of Mohammad Raheem. The madrasa is located in the Gramkan area of Panjgur and the GPS coordinates of its associated mosque are 26.995038 64.122847. According to local sources, Jabbar works closely with Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, and has allegedly been involved in government-sanctioned weapons trafficking for Jihadi training.


Others reportedly recruited in Panjgur to fight for the Taliban include: Taqdeer son of Seth Saleem, resident of the Essai area; Shakeel son of Nadeel, from Parom in Panjgur district; and 14-year-old Dad Jan son of Mol Dad, also from Parom, who returned from Afghanistan just a month ago.


Those are only three of the hundreds of Taliban and other Jihadi recruiting centers in Pakistan.


In a Reuters’ article published today [Aug. 7], the confession of a Pakistani teenager who was captured moments before carrying out a suicide attack gives an insider’s view of the Pakistani network which supports terrorism.


The man who oversees the network is a former Pakistani intelligence services (ISI) asset named Shafiq Mengal, now presumed leader of the Islamic State in Pakistan about whom I wrote in detail here  and here.


The Pakistani terrorist network can be traced back to political and militant groups nurtured by the ISI such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Initially Punjabi in origin and operating mainly in Kashmir, they have now spread throughout Pakistan and provide the backbone of Pakistan’s use of radical Islam or Islamic nationalism to suppress ethnic separatism and as an instrument of its foreign policy.


Pakistani police say that Shafiq Mengal has 500 to 1,000 Jihadis working for him in a network that spans both Pakistan and Afghanistan. One link in that Pakistani Jihadi network is Kharan JuD and LeT district chief Mohammad Altaf Mullazai, who has been connected to Mengal and the ISI. According to the Reuters article, former Baluchistan chief minister Naseer Mengal, father of Shafiq, claimed “Shafiq has not given shelter to any terrorist outfit and their activities.”


That is not true, according to local sources. Saleemullah, also known as Sheik Saleem, a leading member of JuD and LeT, originally from Kharan, is reported to be living with Shafiq Mengal in Wadh, Balochistan. It is important to note that Saleemullah was trained in a fourth radical madrasa in the Bonistan area of Panjgur.


Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D., is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Col. Sellin is the author of “Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution”. His email is

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