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Osama killing confirms Pak-al Qaeda link

Surya Gangadharan |

Updated: May 3, 2011, 1:05 PM IST
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Osama killing confirms Pak-al Qaeda link
Many terror leaders linked to al Qaeda have already been killed or captured in Pakistan.

New Delhi: Osama bin Laden is dead but Pakistan's ties with other terror groups remains intact. The terror groups being patronised by Pakistan range from the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban to the Haqqani network, which is one of the largest and most heavily armed terror groups in Afghanistan, and the Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Osama's killing was the clinching evidence, if any more were required, of Pakistan's ties to the world's most wanted terrorist.

But even before the US launched the operation to kill Osama, many terror leaders linked to al Qaeda have been killed or captured in Pakistan.

Sheikh Masri, a key link between Osama and al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman Zawahiri was killed in North Waziristan, in 2010. In 2003 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was arrested in Rawalpindi while Ramzi binal Shibh, another 9/11 conspirator, was found in Karachi in 2002

Pakistani intelligence ISI's ties to the Haqqani network based in the North West tribal areas has been well documented.

Then there's the Taliban - the regime which gave Osama shelter in Afghanistan and allowed al Qaeda to grow - culminating in 9/11. Taliban leader Mullah Omar is believed to have hidden in the Pakistani south western city of Quetta for many years before being shifted reportedly to Karachi.

There are other al Qaeda affiliates such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba, which used David Coleman Headley for scouting targets for the November 2008 terror strikes in Mumbai and the Mumbai attackers are believed to have trained in Afghanistan as well.

In fact, Pakistan's support for terrorists goes back to the 1980s when it backed Osama and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar against the Russians in Afghanistan.

Now the irony is hard to miss as Osama - a US-Pakistan creation - has been killed in Pakistan by US forces.

First Published: May 3, 2011, 1:05 PM IST
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