MPs call for anti-terror operations in Pakistan
KABUL (PAN): Following the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, some Afghan parliamentarians on Monday called for shifting military operations against militant hideouts across the border in Pakistan.
The elusive Saudi dissident, the alleged mastermind behind the devastating 9/11 attacks in the US, was killed in his luxury mansion in Abbottabad, President Barack Obama announced. Islamabad confirmed the 'intelligence-driven military operation'.
Obama said in a late-night White House speech: "The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of men, women and children."
A member of the Wolesi Jirga from Kabul, Shukriya Barakzai, said: "I hope the international community has realised after 10 years of counterinsurgency operations that terrorist safe havens don't exist in Afghanistan."
It was time for foreign forces to start hunting down Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in the neighbouring country, she said, adding the US special forces' raid happened close to an intelligence centre in Abbottabad.
Arifullah Rahmani, a public representative from southern Ghazni province, said Osama's death had justified Afghanistan's position that rebel infrastructure was outside the country. "In order to prevent civilian casualties, terrorists should be targetted where they are."
It is crystal clear now that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was shielding the Al Qaeda head, according to Arifullah Pakhtun, another member of the assembly, who urged the world to ask Pakistan why it was sheltering him.
Senator Maulvi Abdul Wahab Irfan remarked: "Pakistan has no more excuses. It can't deny any longer the existence of insurgent bases on its soil." Without going into details, he believed the raid could be based on an understanding between the allies.
Earlier in the day, President Hamid Karzai said Osama's death had vindicated Kabul's oft-repeated stance that the top fugitive was not hiding in Afghanistan.
"We have said time and again that Al Qaeda has no sanctuary in Afghanistan; its hideouts are located elsewhere. And his killing has proved that our claim was right," Karzai said.
Addressing a gathering of district council members in Kabul, he asked the Taliban to learn a lesson from the operation. Urging the fighters to join the peace process, he said: "You should stop killing your brothers and training children for suicide attacks."
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