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‘Mullah Omar, al-Zawahiri not hiding in Balochista

Last Updated: Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 23:53

Islamabad: The Chief Minister of Pakistan`s
restive Balochistan province Thursday said Afghan Taliban leader
Mullah Omar and al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri were not
hiding in the region.

Chief Minister Aslam Raisani made the remarks during a
meeting with US Ambassador Cameron Munter in Quetta, the
capital of Balochistan.

Raisani also denied the existence of the Quetta Shura, a
grouping of Afghan Taliban leaders that the US believes is
based on the outskirts of the provincial capital.

Following the killing of Osama bin Laden in a covert
operation by American special forces in the garrison city of
Abbottabad on May 2, the US has called on Pakistan to take
steps to capture or kill several other top terrorists,
including Mullah Omar, al-Zawahiri and Ilyas Kashmiri.

In recent weeks, Balochistan has witnesses a spike in
sectarian and militant violence.

Nearly 20 members of the minority Shia community were
gunned down in the province.

Raisani contended "some elements" wanted to incite
sectarianism in Balochistan and claimed there were no
differences between the ethnic Baloch and Pashtuns.

He backed a policy of reconciliation to avert
In an earlier meeting with provincial assembly speaker
Mohammad Aslam Bhotani, Munter said Balochistan is important
for the US and solving the problems of the province was a

He told the media that the US will continue to provide
financial aid for ongoing projects and new dams in


First Published: Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 23:53

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