Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pakistan: No Bin Laden here, try next door

Pakistan is suggesting that Osama Bin Laden is not in the country and might possibly be hiding in Afghanistan.

Authorities on Tuesday dismissed speculation that Osama bin Laden might be hiding in Pakistan's mountainous north a region more known for its spectacular scenery than Islamic militancy.
On Monday, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said bin Laden was more likely to be in Afghanistan.
Full story HERE.

To suggest this ignores several facts, including why an air strike in January missed Al-Qaida number two Ayman al-Zawahiri, but killed four other high ranking Al-Qaida members and the fact that Zawahiri has called for the overthrow of Pervez Musharraf.

The big problem is that while Pakistan is trying to rid itself of Al-Qaida, they are much more sympathetic to the Taliban, and those two schools of thought are not compatible.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf says his country's battle against al-Qaida in the lawless tribal region has almost been won. He says he is more worried about the rise of Taliban-like extremism in the tribal area of Waziristan. But those watching the current conflict in Waziristan say it is unrealistic to separate the two entities.
They argue that al-Qaida and the Taliban are in fact locked in a symbiotic relationship in which a crackdown on the former automatically galvanises the latter.

Full story HERE.

Al-Qaida and the Taliban are intertwined now, and have rooted themselves in Waziristan. There is no reason to believe that Osama bin Laden would be across the border where a large number of troops are looking for him, when he could be staying in an area that Pakistan doesn't have control over and U.S. troops are not welcome.

Unless Pakistan changes their thinking, their entire country will fall to Al-Qaida, giving them access to nuclear weapons and missiles.

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