Malik ‘98% sure’ Kashmiri is dead

'All ground intelligence shows that he is dead,' says Interior Minister Rehman Malik.


Reuters June 06, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Sunday that although he had no physical proof, he was “98 per cent sure” that senior al Qaeda operative Ilyas Kashmiri was killed in a US drone strike in South Waziristan.

US officials in Washington were sceptical over reports that Kashmiri was dead.

Kashmiri, who was chief of the so-called ‘313 Brigade’ of Harkatul Jihad al Islami (HuJI) militant group, was killed in a missile strike by a CIA-operated pilot-less aircraft in the Karikot area of South Waziristan on Friday.

A US National Security official said he could not confirm that  he had been killed and another US official said it was doubtful.

“All ground intelligence shows that he is dead. What I can say is there is a 98 per cent chance he is dead,” Malik told Reuters.

“Since we do not have the body, we do not have DNA we need to confirm. This is the substantive evidence we are looking for,” he added.

Separately, speaking to the media in Quetta,  Malik ruled out the existence of the ‘Quetta Shura’ which is said to be operating out of Quetta. Malik said as many as 30 sites were raided on secret information but there was no evidence that the Shura existed. “[Elements] who claim that Quetta Shura exists must provide evidence or information to government,” he said.

The minister also insisted that “foreign hands” were involved in creating the law and order situation in Balochistan.

Asked to explain the deaths of 700 people in incidents of targeted killings and the recovery of 200 bullet-riddled bodies of Baloch missing persons, Malik said that ‘anti-social elements’ were involved in the killings and dumping of the bodies.

He also claimed that as of now, there were only 38 people missing and efforts were being made to trace them.

(WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHEHZAD BALOCH IN QUETTA)

Published in The Express Tribune, June 6th, 2011.


COMMENTS (29)

sam | 9 years ago | Reply and i am 98% certain he has no clue what he is talking about
Feroz | 9 years ago | Reply For people to buy the theory that the Army gave intelligence about Kashmiri to the US forces that fired Hellfire missiles from drones and took him out, would be very naive. Kashmiri is a former SSG commando who has collaborated with ISI on many projects. The best way to confirm the effects of any drone strike would be for the Army to fly in commandos in helicopters after a strike and seal and sanitize the area. That way who died and who escaped will be clear. How can the Taliban be allowed to go in later and clean up the area ? May be the current modus operandi suits all fine. Taliban can claim civilians died, Americans can claim terrorists died and Army can continue with its ambiguous and ill fated strategies. The continuation of double games from all sides means more Pakistani lives will be sacrificed as collateral damage to dubious policies.
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