Former ISI official denies Pak claims that Mehsud is dead

A former Inter-Services Intelligence official, considered to have close links with militant groups, has dismissed the Pakistan government`s claim that Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud had been killed in a US drone attack.

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2010, 17:53 PM IST

Lahore: A former Inter-Services
Intelligence official, considered to have close links with
militant groups, has dismissed the Pakistan government`s claim
that Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud had been killed in a US
drone attack.

"Two of my acquaintances were with Hakimullah Mehsud
on March 9 while Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Pakistan
Army spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas had claimed he was dead
early last month," former ISI official Khalid Khawaja, who now
heads a rights group, told PTI.

"I challenge the government to deny my claim and then
I will disclose the names of those who were with the
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief on March 9," Khawaja claimed.

Pakistani and US officials have said they had
credible information that Hakimullah Mehsud died after being
seriously injured in a US drone attack in January.

PTI