Osama is not in Chitral: MMA

MMA legislator Maulana Abdul Chitrali has slammed reports of Osama's presence in Chitral as unauthentic.

india Updated: Aug 26, 2006 15:18 IST

US intelligence agencies' reports suggesting that Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden was present in Chitral are "unauthentic and unjustified", Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) legislator Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali has said.

"Neither have we sheltered anybody nor will we tolerate foreign interference in the area," the Daily Times quoted Chitrali as saying.

Raising a point of order in the National Assembly on Friday, Chitrali said that the mountainous Chitral area shared a border with five countries, but "was completely peaceful".

He said that the CIA and FBI had set up offices in Chitral, but had left the area after locals protested their presence.

A couple of days ago, a US official had said that Laden was living comfortably in a house, possibly with a family and no more than two bodyguards.

He added that the intelligence's assumption was based in part from trees peculiar to the mountainous region that could be seen in a video footage dating back to 2003.

"He felt at home there and enjoyed popular support. It's also a country where the US military is not welcome.

It's likely that he's in Pakistan. There are Pakistanis who remember bin Laden's work from the 1980s, when he set up what is known as the Services Bureau in Peshawar to help refugees fleeing Soviets in Afghanistan.

They have as a custom of not turning in individuals. He has sought refuge among them," he said.

First Published: Aug 26, 2006 15:18 IST