Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat

Pakistan's Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control, Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, recently stated that Osama bin Laden is not in Pakistan:

Osama Bin Laden is not hiding in Pakistan as its military has 'virtually sealed the border' with Afghanistan, Pakistan's Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control, Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat claimed on Wednesday.

Participating in the BBC World programme Hardtalk Pakistan, Faisal Saleh Hayat said "We do not believe Bin Laden is in Pakistan because if he had been in Pakistan, certainly by now in view of the nature of the operations, the scale of the operations which have been initiated and conducted over the past two years, certainly he would have been apprehended".

"He's not in Pakistan, certainly not. He could be somewhere -- this is again a matter of conjecture -- he could be somewhere along the border belt, because it is a very long border as we all know, a 2,500 km long border in which we have the most inhospitable terrain anywhere in the world," he said.

He said "the reason why I said he could not be in Pakistan is because we have these 70,000 paramilitary forces patrolling the border. We have virtually sealed the border", he said.

"The operations which are going on in Wana and south Waziristan recently, they are the outcome of an apprehension that some of the elements connected to the Al-Qaeda network's hierarchy might be hiding in these areas. That is the reason why we are going ahead with these operations but certainly that doesn't mean that Osama Bin Laden is hiding in Pakistan." the Minister said.


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