Mullen says Taliban chief hiding in Balochistan

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Islamabad, Apr. 7 (ANI): The US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, has claimed that the Taliban's top leadership is hiding in Pakistan's Balochistan province.

During a dinner at US Ambassador Anne Patterson's residence in Islamabad, Admiral Mullen told reporters that the US was targeting Baitullah Mehsud now because he had established strategic links with Al Qaeda.

In affiliation with Al Qaeda, Mehsud facilitated many attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan during the past year or so, the Daily Times quoted him, as saying.

Asked if the US was winning or losing the war in Afghanistan, Admiral Mullen said that since the US was not winning, it could be said that it was losing it.

Obama's special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, who was also present at the dinner, put it differently.

He said neither the US nor the Al Qaeda-Taliban network was winning it.

Holbrooke talked of America's long-term commitment to Pakistan's economy and military and referred to the Kerry-Lugar bill for 7.5 billion dollars for Pakistan over five years.

However, the Americans left no doubt in anyone's mind that the economic and military aid to Pakistan would be linked to Pakistan's concrete support to the war against Al Qaeda.

After dinner, Holbrooke and Admiral Mullen left to call on President Asif Zardari. (ANI)

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