Quetta appears to be Taliban headquarters: Holbrooke

March 24th, 2009 - 1:16 pm ICT by ANI  


Peshawar, Mar 24 (ANI): US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has said that Quetta, the capital of Pakistans Balochistan province, appears to be the Talibans headquarters.

Holbrooke made it clear that the number one problem in stabilising Afghanistan were Taliban sanctuaries in western Pakistan, including tribal areas along the Afghan border and cities like Quetta.

Quetta appears to be the headquarters for the leaders of the Taliban and some of the worst people in the world, he said adding that it includes the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud.

As we speak, they are planning further attacks on the West and the region itself. Its tough. You cannot send troops into Pakistan. That is a red line, Holbrooke told the BBC on Monday.

He refused to confirm or deny reports that Washington is now considering an expansion of its covert war into areas around Quetta.

Asked about persistent reports that elements in the Pakistani military may be playing a double game by supporting elements of the Taliban, Holbrooke said: We have heard these charges. We have talked to Pakistani leaders about them. Obviously, to the extent there is truth to them, we would be very, very concerned.

Washingtons much anticipated strategic review of its Afghanistan and Pakistan policies is now on President Barack Obamas desk and is expected to be made public in the coming few days. It will send the clearest signal yet of how the new administration would tackle what it views as its biggest security threat.

I can guarantee you that this administration will do everything it can to succeed in one of the most difficult situations in the world, Holbrooke emphasised. (ANI)

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