The diplomat did not rule out use of drones against what he called Quetta Shura.
‘In the first instance, we will like the government of Pakistan to move aggressively to prevent the use of Pakistan’s soil (by Taliban) in this way… we hope the GoP will take steps to arrest these individuals,’ US deputy chief of mission Gerald Feierstein told journalists.
He said action against the Quetta Shura was imperative for stabilising the situation in
He insisted that Taliban leader Mullah Omar was in
When asked repeatedly if the US would launch drone attacks against Taliban targets in Quetta, he said predator issues were not discussed in public and that the focus was currently on getting cooperation from Islamabad for addressing the issue.
The statement is probably the harshest criticism of law-enforcement agencies to date by a
Analysts believe that the
Mr Feierstein referred to Gen McChrystal’s assessment and said everybody understood that part of the problem was in Balochistan.
The Kerry-Lugar bill on aid passed by the Congress on Wednesday and now awaiting President Obama’s approval requires the
But no one in
Before his trip to the
Americans believe that the top Taliban leadership is present either in refugee camps or in the Afghan neighbourhoods of
Mr Feierstein rejected
When asked if the government had accepted
He said the American leadership was very clear that fixing the problem in
Responding to a question about allegations of Taliban sympathisers in
The issue is one of major western concerns and believed to be the cause of poor intelligence on the Quetta Shura.
He revealed that some of those sympathisers had been arrested by Pakistani authorities.
Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit dismissed Mr Feierstein’s claim as baseless speculation and asked the
Defence analyst Brig (retd) Shaukat Qadir said the Americans were losing the war and were trying to find excuses. ‘Some time back I went to
Mr Feierstein also said the
He questioned President Zardari’s claim made last month that Osama was dead, saying he was very much alive.
However, he said that Al Qaeda chief’s operational capacity was severely restricted because of action against his group. He said he doubted if Osama was still in charge of Al Qaeda’s day to day affairs. (Dawn)
Mullah Omar in Quetta, Osama in FATA: US diplomat
* Quetta-based Taliban shura planning to launch attacks in Afghanistan * Some individuals in ISI supporting Taliban
ISLAMABAD: The top leadership of the Taliban, including Mullah Omar, is based in Quetta and Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden is in hiding in FATA, Deputy Chief of the US Mission in Islamabad Gerald Feierstein said on Thursday.
Talking to reporters, Feierstein said the US “strongly believes” Osama was operating from Pakistan’s Tribal Areas near the Afghan border.
He told reporters that the Quetta-based Taliban shura was active and planning to launch attacks on the US and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.
The US diplomat also said US officials believed Quetta had become the control and command centre of the Taliban.
Feierstein skipped questions about potential US drone strikes in Quetta, but said Washington had conveyed its concerns to the government of Pakistan about the Quetta situation.
But Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit warned against any drone attacks in the region.
“Balochistan is not FATA, and so we are in touch with the US on this and we have conveyed our concerns. And we will continue to raise our concerns,” he said.
ISI: The US diplomat also said the top Afghan Taliban leaders moved freely across the Pak-Afghan border and attacked US and NATO forces at will.
Feierstein said the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was not supporting the Taliban at the institutional level, however, he claimed, some individuals in the agency had been supporting the insurgents, but “such elements have been arrested in the past”.
He said Inter Risk security agency had been providing security to the US embassy and its personnel in Islamabad, adding that it was working in accordance with the law and regulations set by the Interior Ministry.
He rejected the presence of Blackwater officials in Pakistan, saying that the US embassy had an agreement with Inter Risk for providing security to its staff.
Feierstein said the US was building the capacity of Pakistani intelligence and law enforcement agencies, including the NWFP police, the Intelligence Bureau, the Federal Investigation Agency and the Frontier Corps in order to enhance their counterinsurgency abilities. app/daily times monitor