Pakistani official: Bin Laden not in Pakistan

Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden and Taliban chief Mullah Omar are not hiding in southwestern Pakistan, a senior provincial official told a top US diplomat. Pakistan is a key ally of the United States in its war on terror, but some US and Afghan government officials have recently said that the world's two most wanted fugitives were hiding in the southwestern Baluchistan province or in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan. On Thursday, Jam Mohammed Yousaf, the top elected official in Baluchistan, told the US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher that he would not allow Pakistan's soil to be used for any terrorist activity. "There is no Taliban headquarters in Baluchistan.... Mullah Omar or Osama bin Laden are not in Baluchistan," a government statement quoted Yousaf as telling Boucher in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan from where police in recent months have arrested several Taliban leaders.