Searches for Osama bin Laden are not a success so far. Any messages the terrorist regularly sends to the world himself don’t testify where bin Laden is taking refuge, or whether he is alive at all. However, several months ago it was defined that bin Laden and his accomplices may be hiding on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
The choice of the shelter is quite logical: the mountainous region is difficult of access which is rather convenient for the terrorists. Besides, the region is inhabited by the Pashtun tribes which are out of control of both governments, of Pakistan and Afghanistan. For this very reason US special services held several operations in searches for bin Laden in this area. However, the operations turned out a failure, but Americans managed to set the local Pashtun tribes against themselves. The matter is that the tribes don’t tolerate aliens on their territories. When the special operations failed, an assumption that bin Laden was dead became really very popular in Washington. However, the version isn’t supported by any documents at all.
Islamabad in its turn says that bin Laden can’t be hiding in Pakistan on no account. Recently, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf called into question the possibility that Osama bin Laden had been the mastermind of the Sept.11 terrorism attacks in the USA. He doubts that the number one terrorist had neither managerial talents nor finance for organization of such terrorism attacks.
Pakistani Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider said during his official visit to Qatar that bin Laden couldn’t be hiding on the Pakistani territories. “There is no evidence that bin Laden is dead. But if he is alive, Pakistan is not a friendly land for him. We have sought the help of tribes living close to the Afghan border and they are cooperating with us. I doubt very much that bin Laden is in Pakistan,” the Pakistani interior minister said.
To tell the truth, the statement will hardly make Washington to give up searches for bin Laden on the Pakistani territories. As long as some people in the US Government (like Donald Rumsfeld, for example) believe that bin Laden is alive, the searches will continue. And this is despite the fact that opinion of the Pakistani authorities on the problem was perfectly evident. Islamabad seems very much irritated with US operations on its territory.
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