Afghan Minister’s Statement Intensifies Search for Bin Laden on Pakistan
Statements from members of the Afghan government, indicating that Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan, possibly even in Peshawar, have led to an increased focus on the country, and have embarrassed the Pakistani government, according to Gulf News.
Pakistani authorities are said to be extremely dissatisfied with Afghan Defense Minister General Qasim Fahim’s claim that Bin Laden is in Peshawar. A suspicion was even raised that the Minister’s remark was deliberately made to embarrass Pakistan at such a sensitive time, given the fact that a wide range of elements in the Northern Alliance, now ruling in Afghanistan, have close relations with India.
The remarks have brought renewed U.S. pressure on Pakistan to assist in the hunt for Bin Laden. According to the Government’s instructions, the State Bank of Pakistan on Saturday froze assets of individuals who were suspected of links to Bin Laden. A bank official confirmed the freezing of the funds, and added that this was being "kept quiet" for the moment. (www.albawaba.com)