Taliban exist in Quetta: US diplomat

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Taliban exist in Quetta: US diplomat

* Stephen Fakan says Taliban should not be allowed to operate from Balochistan
* Lauds Pakistan Army for tremendous efforts against terrorism

By Malik Siraj Akbar

QUETTA: The Taliban are currently living in Quetta and need to be eliminated before they consolidate their grip in Balochistan and start to use the province as a base to launch more terror attacks, US Consul General Stephen G Fakan has said.

“It would be unreasonable to say the Taliban do not exist in Quetta,” the official posted at the Karachi Consulate told a press conference in Quetta on Wednesday. “Everybody is saying the Taliban live and operate from Quetta. The Quetta shura comprises people who devise policies for the Taliban while sitting in Quetta,” he added. He said Pakistani officials would be requested to do more and Islamabad “should do more” to fight the war against terrorism and extremism.

Not here: Quoting officials, he said some people in the Balochistan government had confessed the Taliban had moved from Quetta to Karachi and Islamabad without any restrictions. They pose a greater threat to the people of Pakistan than they do the interest of the US. “There is a need to take immediate action against the Taliban before they move from FATA to Balochistan and become powerful enough to use the province as a base for more terrorist activities in the future … We want to curb extremism wherever its is present,” he added.

The US consul general said no Balochistan government official had requested the US to play any role in sending Afghan refugees back to their country. “It is not that easy to locate Taliban hideouts in Quetta. We hear they keep coming (to Quetta) and going (to Afghanistan). Sometimes they are here and sometimes they go to the north. When the Taliban was removed from Afghanistan and FATA, it began to move to Quetta,” he added.

Valued job: Fakan said the Pakistan Army was doing a valuable job and putting tremendous effort towards fighting the Taliban in FATA. He said the US government acknowledged the army’s commitment to the war against terrorism. He also lauded the Frontier Corps (FC) for doing a good job to guard the NATO supplies, adding they had recently come under attack by militants in Quetta, Chaman and other parts of Balochistan. “It is not easy to avoid attacks on the convoy of trucks and tankers carrying supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan as they move in large numbers,h he added.

The diplomat said he could not comment on whether the US government was seriously planning drone strikes in Quetta. He also termed the controversial Kerry-Lugar bill a sign of friendship between Pakistan and the US.

4 Responses to “Taliban exist in Quetta: US diplomat”
  1. Asad Khan says:

    The next thing they will say that there are weapons of mass destruction in Quetta.

    The only thing I know that there are no talibans in Quetta but there will be thousands once CIA operated drones starts killing innocent people.

  2. Alfa says:

    Hi there, Where is the fantastic landscape in your head banner looking out onto the sea? It looks like some place in California.

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