Bin Laden could be arrested at any time, says US official
ISLAMABAD: US Coordinator on counter-terrorism Ambassador J Cofer Black expected on Friday that Osama Bin Laden and his collaborators could be arrested at any time and said, “Everything is in place and a little bit is needed to localise these people and catch them.”
In a meeting with senior journalists in Islamabad, Mr Black explained various aspects of counter-terrorism and praised Pakistan’s efforts, particularly President Pervez Musharraf’s stance on the war against terrorism.
“In counter-terrorism, the programmes are in place. We are after these guys globally. Success against people that you know about, Osama could happen tomorrow, could happen the day after, a week from now, or month from now. Everything is in place. A little bit is needed to localise these people and to catch them,” he said.
”I tell the people and the media in the US that I would be surprised but not shocked that Osama and all his lieutenants have been caught and none of these guys are in jail. It will be a good day for the people of this world in terms of counter-terrorism,” he said.
He said the people who perpetrated or meditated the murder of innocent people were criminals. “Let’s forget this psycho nonsense about legitimate causes. Killing women and children has no place in civilised society, no matter Christian or Muslim. These problems are best solved by talking without the loss of innocent life,” he said.
He said Pakistan under Musharraf was playing a key role in counter-terrorism.
He said that people would be very surprised to find a head of state more supportive of Pakistan’s role in the war against terrorism than President Bush. “His very statements are most favourable to President Musharraf in leading his country and security forces to fight this war. These two world leaders appreciate that this is not a problem specifically related to one country or another. This is a common problem that we all share and particularly Pakistan and the United States are doing their best.
He said President Bush and Musharraf understood that fighting terrorism was important regardless of ethnicity, nationality and religion and criminals had to be confronted. “As Americans we are grateful and praise Pakistan’s performance. It is our objective to support our colleagues in this endeavour,” he added. Asked what if President Musharraf were assassinated he said, “We as a country greatly admire President Musharraf. Pakistan is very well served by him. Relationships transcend individuals.”