“Guerrillas from Afghanistan’s ousted Taliban militia and the al Qaeda network it once sheltered are using Pakistan as a sanctuary, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan said Wednesday.” This from Reuters.
“Speaking at a police graduation ceremony, Zalmay Khalilzad also said senior al Qaeda members including Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar must be brought to justice.
“‘The remnants of extremist Taliban, al Qaeda and Hekmatyar want to take Afghanistan to the bad old days,’ Khalilzad said. ‘They use Pakistan as sanctuary.’
“The Taliban and Hekmatyar have declared a ‘jihad,’ or holy war, against U.S. forces in Afghanistan and U.S.-backed President Hamid Karzai.
“The fate of bin Laden and al-Zawahri remains unknown, but they are widely believed to be hiding along the rugged Afghan-Pakistan border.” Or somewhere below it.
“Afghan officials, including Karzai, have long complained Pakistan is not doing enough to clamp down on militants using its territory to launch deadly raids into Afghanistan. U.S. officials are usually less forthright, recognizing the importance of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s support for the U.S.-led war on terror.
“Pakistan has arrested hundreds of suspected guerrillas, including senior figures, and handed many over to U.S. custody, but senior officials say some militants could be hiding out along its remote Afghan frontier.”