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 Osama’s presence in Kurram Agency far-fetched idea: Turi
Updated at  
Wednesday, February 25, 2009

By Iftikhar Marwat

ISLAMABAD: While rejecting the reports about Osama bin Laden’s presence in a walled compound in Kurram Agency, MNA from the area Sajid Hussain Turi has categorically said such reports are baseless and it is impossible that Osama is hiding in Kurram Agency.

Talking to journalists, Turi, who also heads the National Assembly Standing Committee on States and Frontier Regions (Safron), strongly contradicted the report presented by a research team led by geographer Thomas Gillespie of the University of California, Los Angeles, that al-Qaeda’s top leader Osama bin Laden is most likely hiding in Parachinar.

Basing their conclusion on night time satellite images and other techniques, the scientists suggested that Osama may well be in one of three compounds in Parachinar, a town just 12 miles from the Afghan border. The research incorporates public reports of Osama’s habits and whereabouts since his flight from the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan in 2001.

“I strongly contradict the report as Parachinar is completely different from the other tribal areas with its majority Shia population and known as anti-Taliban region,” he commented, adding, in such situation when the entire population is anti-Taliban and anti-al-Qaeda, how is it possible that the top leaders will be hiding in this area?

The MNA further elaborated that the geographical findings by Thomas Gillespie are not based on facts, saying that Tora Bora does not adjoin the Kurram Agency area, but that of hilly parts of Orakzai and Khyber agencies.

He said people in Kurram Agency from both Sunni and Shia sects are peace-loving and against any terror activity in their region. He regretted that some hidden elements are behind the law and order in Kurram Agency. He termed these elements agents of RAW and KGB and said that they have held captive the minority population of some Sunni tribes from where the Shia tribes are ambushed.

The MNA also strongly criticised the role of the local administration, saying that the peace accord has been breached for the fourth time since it has been signed last year following unprecedented efforts of the elders and public representatives but the administration is completely playing a role of the silent spectator over the situation.

Sajid Turi also urged the Taliban leaders — Maulana Gul Bahadur, Mulla Nazeer and Baitullah Mehsud — to play role for permanent peace and tranquillity in the Kurram Agency besides ensuring lives and properties of the people travelling on Thall-Parachinar Road.

The MNA demanded of the government to restart PIA flights to Parachinar at the earliest. He further urged he government to play sincere role to restore durable peace and rehabilitate the displaced families of the last year’s bloody sectarian clashes.

Responding to a question, he supported selective military operation against those creating law and order situation in Kurram Agency, saying that local people will completely support the government action. “Terrorism is a disease that needs a permanent cure — military operation,” he said.

SOURCE: http://www.thenews..com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=20578

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