Musharraf: U.S. terror claims are nonsense

Nov. 9, 2011 at 10:50 AM   |   0 comments

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LONDON, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Elusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar is in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and has no reason to be inside Pakistani territory, former Pakistani President Musharraf said.

Bilateral ties between Washington and Islamabad are at historic lows in part because of the fallout from the May raid by U.S. forces that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. U.S. officials also accuse Pakistani intelligence agencies of backing the insurgent Haqqani network, blamed for a series of high-profile attacks and assassinations inside Afghanistan.

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told the BBC U.S. claims about Pakistan's ties to terrorism groups were "all nonsense."

He said there may be some refugee camps on the Pakistani side of the border that could be harboring some unsavory figures, but most of the U.S. claims were nothing more than "a mirage."

A State Department official, speaking to reporters on background in September, said threats from groups such as the Haqqani network weren't just a concern for Washington. Since 2003, one official said, nearly 19,000 Pakistanis have been killed in terrorist attacks.

The United Nations is reviewing a sanctions list containing members of al-Qaida and the Taliban to facilitate reconciliation, though talks with Taliban leader Mullah Omar and members of the Haqqani network aren't on the table.

Musharraf said Omar has "no reason to be in Pakistan," adding he's likely somewhere in the Afghan province of Kandahar.

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