Pakistani Taliban invite Osama bin Laden to settle in Swat | world | Hindustan Times
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Pakistani Taliban invite Osama bin Laden to settle in Swat

world Updated: Apr 22, 2009 00:18 IST

IANS
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The Taliban in Pakistan's Swat Valley say they would welcome militants from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries who intend to settle in the region, a media report said on Tuesday.

Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said the group would welcome insurgents of Arab origin who are willing to fight the US-led troops in neighbouring Afghanistan.

"Yes, we will help them and protect them," he said.

Khan said: "Osama (Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden) can come here. Sure, like a brother they can stay anywhere they want."

Alarmed over Khan's comments, Pakistan's Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said that "the country would never let him (Muslim Khan) shelter the likes of bin Laden".

"We would have to go for the military operation. We would have to apply force again. We simply condemn this. We are fighting this war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban," the Press TV quoted the minister as saying to a daily.

Last Monday, President Asif Ali Zardari under pressure from the Taliban agreed to introduce Islamic Sharia laws in the restive Malakand division, comprising six northwestern districts including Swat valley. The group vowed to extend the Islamic Sharia across the country.

"The day is not far when Islamabad will be in the hands of the mujahideen," a Taliban commander earlier said.

Taliban militants Tuesday refused to leave the Buner district, just 100 km from Islamabad, which they forcibly occupied.