MABAD - The United States Mission in Islamabad, following ambassador Pattersons lead, has begun a campaign claiming Mullah Omar and his Taliban are in Quetta and move around the border with Afghanistan. This almost portends a drone attack on that city by the US. Pakistan has termed it a baseless speculation.
Although we believe that the top leadership of the terrorist nexus has lost their centralized command and control, but it is our strong conviction that they are using Quetta or off-Quetta areas as their bases, said Deputy Chief of the Mission, US Embassy, Gerald Feierstein.
During a media interaction at his residence, he also claimed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, who according to the US was alive, has also taken refuge in Pakistan. Osama is present in Pakistan. The command system of Taliban is based in Quetta and they are launching their activities from the suburbs of the city, Feierstein said.
To a question, he said the US has asked Pakistan to move against the suspected hideouts of the terrorists. Asked whether the US information was based on some intelligence, he diplomatically responded by saying 'well this is what we believe, that they are in Balochistan.
Asked whether the US would carry out drone attacks, in case Pakistan does not move according to the American desires, he said, this is our policy that we dont discuss drone.
When his attention was drawn to the repeated denials about their conviction, he said, it is an ongoing discussion.
Answering another question, the status of intelligence sharing between the US and Pakistan, he said, efforts to defeat Al-Qaeda have met significant successes during the last seven years. To another question about elements in the intelligence agencies having sympathies for Taliban, he said, there were individuals as was already reported in the media but there was no institution having such tendencies.
He told the media persons that the Director General ISI General Shuja Pasha has just completed his US visit wherein he met chief of CIS, US National Security Advisor, and other relevant functionaries.
Denying presence of Blackwater, Feierstein said the private US security firm was not needed in Pakistan. We brought the Blackwater in Iraq when there was no government existent.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has brushed aside Feiersteins statements terming them as 'baseless speculation. Talking to TheNation Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said the US should share evidence with Islamabad regarding Bin Ladens presence in Pakistan.