Timber Smuggling With Rockets in Chitral, Pakistan

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posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 12:10 AM
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Here´s a recent report from Chitral, Pakistan. Smugglers uses modified Bedford trucks in order to smuggle timber from Chitral. The Bedford trucks are for some strange reason known as "rockets".




Timber smuggling bid foiled


CHITRAL: March 20, 2006: The Forest department foiled a bid to smuggle timber out of Chitral into Afghanistan and onward to southern Pakistan

The smugglers had cleverly altered the body of the Bedford trucks (commonly known as 'Rockets'), to accommodate large pieces of precious Diyar and Deodar wood which is banned from being taken out of the district.

Talking to newsmen, District Forest Officer Hashim Khan and Range officer Fazle Khaliq said it was the first time they encountered such an ingenious way of smuggling forest wood.


Click for bigger version

And what happened in February? They found an audio tape with a picture of Bin Laden. They closed "the only ground link of Chitral with the rest of Pakistan". And no plane tickets were available for a month, effectively isolating the area...


Afghan route closed, reopened

CHITRAL: 09 Feb 06: The Afghanistan route which is the only ground link of Chitral with the rest of Pakistan, was closed by the Afghan authorities for travel which led to great frustration amongst the Chitrali travelers who also do not get seats on the PIA flights as they are over booked for a month.

a traveler while being body searched by the afghan security personal was found to be in possession of an audio cassette bearing the picture of Osama Bin Laden, for which he was arrested and the route closed for traffic. As per latest reports the route has been conditionally opened again but security checks have been made more extensive making the lives of travelers miserable.



An area with high activity? Do they call Bedford trucks "rockets" anywhere but in the Chitral area? Could the rockets be a smokescreen? "When we were talking about rockets, we actually meant modified Bedford trucks"
Btw, it is rumoured that Bin Laden spends his vaccations in this area.

I guess you never heard of this city or area but it is of paramount importance in the search of Bin Laden. What can you find out about Chitral?




posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 11:27 AM
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Here are some more details regarding Chitral


STC TOURIST ATTRACTIONS


DIR
Dir is a big trading centre. It is famous for knives and daggers. The royal graveyard is also situated by the roadside in the town. Shortly before reaching Dir, a road leads towards east, taking the travelers to a wonderland, known as Dir Kohistan. It is the western extension of Swat. The lush green valley of Dir Kohistan is about 100 km long. It has many villages including Shringal and Kalkot. The mountains are covered with thick forests. This area has still not been fully explored.



LOWARI PASS
This pass is 3200 m high, situated in the famous Hindu Raj Range and forms the boundary between Dir and Chitral. The road to Chitral passes through this Pass which is closed between November and May due to heavy snowfall.


Wikipedia: Chitral


The easiest route during summer (it was closed by snow in the winter), and the only one which also allowed the use of pack animals, went over the Broghol Pass (3,798 m or 12,460 ft) to Mastuj and, from there, either east towards Gilgit, or southwest down the Chitral/Kunar Valley towards Jalalabad; a route which is open all year. This route was not only the easiest, but the most direct one to Kabul and all points south and west.

There is also a more difficult route over the dangerous Lowari Pass (3,200 m or 10,499 ft), 365 km (227 mi) south to the region of Peshawar. It is now jeepable, but used mainly because the easier route to Jalalabad is blocked by the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. There is also a 405 km (252 mi) route to Gilgit over the 3,719 m (12,201 ft) Shandur Pass.

And here is an interesting letter:

Chitral Flights problem -letter


Dear Sir,
The current flights situation story narrated in a recent news item is an old story and does not seem likely to change soon. Deaf ears, rampant corruption and inefficiency being the obvious reasons; Who cares how vital is a proper travelling mechanism for tourism. Who would like to take so much hassle to go to Chitral! This can only be achieved by constructing a new modern big airport in Chitral. Direct flights from Islamabad and Karachi are must, which in addition to facilitating tourism will also benefit Chitralis living in far flung areas. Private airlines must also be approached. But initiatives must come from Chitralis themselves.



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 08:58 PM
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An area with high activity? Do they call Bedford trucks "rockets" anywhere but in the Chitral area? Could the rockets be a smokescreen? "When we were talking about rockets, we actually meant modified Bedford trucks" Btw, it is rumoured that Bin Laden spends his vaccations in this area.


No wonder we cannot find Osama he must be hidding under those trucks


Or perhaps he uses them to evade those looking for him. Perhaps we should tip off US intel agents to keep an eye on those things.

I also wonder why they call them rockets, they sure do not look like one.

Are they or do you know if all are painted red, that could perhaps be a reaso why they call them rockets as it seems all police chase anything red?



posted on Mar, 30 2006 @ 06:48 PM
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Here are some interesting articles I´ve found. Chitral seems to be an interesting place.


Daily Times: US teacher asks Chitralis to find Bin Laden


A New York Times story quoting CIA officials as saying they are looking for Osama Bin Laden in Chitral has prompted an American teacher to appeal to Chitralis to help find the Al Qaeda leader. “I humbly ask, please help us. Please help the Americans, if you can. Please help us rid the world of this Osama if you can. He may be hiding in your land and planning to attack America again.


Gupshup - Osama bin Laden alive and living near Chitral in Pakistan


Osama bin Laden has been living in reasonable comfort for quite some time now and despite the rumours, does not live in "caves" on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, but in modern accommodation near Chitral situated in this area.

It is no coincidence that this area around Chitral is not "open" to unauthorized search parties, as those protecting bin Laden would not want him falling into the wrong hands.


GlobalSecurity.org: Chitral, Pakistan 35°53'15"N 71°48'01"E


By the end of September 2001, American and Pakistani military officials had discussed the possibility of American use of five airfields in Pakistan: Peshawar, Quetta, Dalbandin, Pasni, and Chitral. Ultimately, Chitral was not among the bases selected for use.


ChitralNews: Shortage of essential items hits Chitral

March 28 2006



Spiralling prices and non-availability of essential items in Chitral have hit the people of Chitral hard. The area faces an acute shortage of essential commodities during the closure period of Lowari Pass from the month of December to April every year.

the entire population of the district is held hostage by a few hoarders and profiteers. The replacement of the old district administration by the new system of district government has worsened the situation.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 07:29 AM
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Seems like they're getting closer to Bin Laden. Chitral...



Asia Times Online: Osama back in the US crosshairs

May 17, 2006




Asia Times Online investigations, after a harrowing journey to
some of the most inhospitable territory in the Hindu Kush mountains, confirm that US and Pakistan forces are now preparing for a large-scale operation to track down bin Laden, or other big fish, on whichever side of the border they might be. The focal point in the "war on terror" has thus firmly shifted to the maze of mountains and rivers that stretches from remote Chitral in the northwest of Pakistan's North West Frontier province to Nuristan and Kunar provinces in Afghanistan.

The presence of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents in the Chitral Valley has been the subject of much discussion recently. From the chief minister of the province to the man in the street, the word is that the Americans have established a vigilance center in Chitral town after what is said to be a "credible" tip-off of al-Qaeda activity in the region.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 09:43 AM
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Lots of falcons have been released back into the wild in Chitral. The falcons belonged to several sheiks and UAE nationals. Microchips have been implanted under the skin of each bird in addition to a numbered ring around their legs. This is to ensure identification if the bird is later recaptured or found dead. They say Chitral is a perfect place to release these birds because of the existing falcon migration routes and the availability of prey species and water.


More UAE falcons released back into the wild in Pakistan

May 21, 2006



A total of 26 Saker and 34 Peregrine falcons were released back into the wild. They included the falcons of several shaikhs and UAE nationals.

To facilitate subsequent identification in the case of recapture or being found dead, a microchip carrying a special identification number known as a PIT (passive induced transponder), weighing about 0.1 grams, was implanted under the skin of each bird. Moreover, each bird had a numbered ring fitted around its leg, which was provided by EAD, as part of the Emirates Bird Ringing Scheme.

This is the third time Chitral was chosen to release the falcons due to its being used as a migration route by Saker and Peregrine falcons moving northwards towards breeding grounds in central Asia. Another consideration was the availability of water and prey species for the released birds.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

And Pakistan denies that Osama Bin Laden is in Chitral. They claim he is most likely in Afghanistan. Hard-line Islamists held a rally in the streets of Chitral to protest the presence of American agents in the city.

Pakistan dismisses speculation bin Laden is hiding in mountainous north


The police chief in Chitral, Fazal Elahi, said it would be impossible for an outsider like bin Laden to hide in the town. He said that some Americans had stayed in Chitral recently and police had provided them security. He declined to give further details about the visitors, but said he was not aware that they were agents. To protest the alleged presence of U.S. agents, Abdul Akbar Chitrali, a lawmaker for a hard-line Islamic coalition, led a street rally on Friday, said Shahid Shamsi, a spokesman for the opposition Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal or United Action Forum coalition. The New York Times quoted Chitrali as saying that four Americans, whom he claimed were either from the CIA or FBI, had set up an office following a "fabricated" report that some Arabs had come down from mountains to visit the town's bazaar.

Pakistan is a U.S. ally in the war on terrorism, but any presence of American operatives on its soil is a sensitive one because of widespread opposition to that alliance, particularly among Islamic hard-liners. Earlier this month, Henry Crumpton, the U.S. ambassador in charge of counterterrorism, called parts of Pakistan's border region a "safe haven" for militants and said bin Laden was more likely to be hiding there than in Afghanistan. On Monday, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said bin Laden was more likely to be in Afghanistan.



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 10:01 PM
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Osama Bin Laden might have been spotted in Pakistan. But I guess they won't catch him. If they catch him, people might feel like the "war" is over...


Bin Laden on the Move; New Sightings in Pakistan

May 24, 2006




Pakistani government sources tell ABC News they have "credible reports" that Osama bin Laden and his entourage have moved down from high mountainous peaks along the Afghan border to a valley area 40 miles inside the Pakistan border.

The officials say the reports put bin Laden around Kohistan's Kumrat Valley.



posted on May, 26 2006 @ 10:07 PM
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An MMA leader on Friday urged the government to remove all US intelligence offices (FBI and CIA) and their equipment from Chitral within 20 days, or else... He said the people won't tolerate any US intelligence offices in the area whatsoever. He claim that the rumour about Osama Bin Laden being in the Chitral area is US propaganda spread to justify US intelligence presence in northern Pakistan. He allegedly also believe that Bin Laden is dead...


Daily Times: Cleric wants FBI, CIA offices removed

May 27, 2006



A Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) leader on Friday urged the government to remove the equipment and offices of the United States investigation agencies - Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - from Chitral within 20 days. Failure to do so, he said, would lead to a countrywide protest movement against their interference.

MNA Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali told a press conference here that the local people would not tolerate at any cost US intelligence agencies’ offices in the area.

Rumours of Osama Bin Laden’s presence in Chitral were being spread to justify US intelligence agencies’ offices in the area, Chitrali said, adding: “We think that Osama is no more alive and this is just the US propaganda to enter north Pakistan.”

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

What is the truth?
  • Bin Laden could be hiding in the area?
    or
  • Bin Laden is dead and the rumour is US propaganda spread to justify CIA presence in northern Pakistan?
    or
  • Bin Laden is somewhere else and the US intelligence is looking the wrong place?

    Smells like.... Bin Laden
    I think he could be hiding in that area. If he is not there, I guess he could be hiding somewhere in Sweden...



  • posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 08:36 AM
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    The Chitral Valley is closed to foreigners

    The Chitral Valley has been closed to foreginers for security reasons.


    MountEverest.net: Pakistan's Chitral region closed to foreigners - no Hindu Kush expeditions this year

    Jun 23, 2006



    The Chitral Valley in northern Pakistan has been closed to foreigners for security reasons and local authorities are refusing climbing permits in the region. The closed area, with the highest peaks of the Hindu Kush range, sits on the border with war-stricken Afghanistan.



    Thunder from allied fighter jets heard in Chitral


    Chitralnews.com: Fighter jets roar near Afghan border

    CHITRAL 27 June 06



    The thunder of fighter jets believed to be of the American and allied forces undertaking an operation in the Nooristan province of Afghanistan were heard in the border area of Chitral, Arandu and Mirkhani Monday.



    Musharraf going to Chitral in July

    Pervez Musharraf is planning on going to Chitral in July.


    Chitralnews.com: NHA Chairman visits Tunnel site

    CHITRAL, 30 June 06



    Gen. Musharraf would also be warmly welcomed on his arrival at Chitral in July for formal inauguration of Lawari tunnel.



    No women at the Shandur festival

    Some hard core Islamists in Chitral opposed the set up of women stalls at the Shandur festival. They termed it un-Islamic and warned of consequences (incident) if they didn't get their way.


    Chitralnews.com: JI opposes women stalls at Shandur

    CHITRAL,30 June 06



    Jamaat e Islami Chitral in a meeting opposed the proposed set up of women stalls at Shandur festival and termed it un-Islamic and against the traditions of the area. The meeting warned if the district administration insisted on pursuing their intention, then, the responsibility of any ensuing untoward incident would rest on the shoulders of the concerned institutions



    posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 09:01 PM
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    Musharraf has just been to town. Some two thousand troops invaded the city. "Even the sick were not allowed to reach hospitals"...


    Chitralnews.com: MNA thanks President, people

    09 July 06


    MNA Moulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali at a press conference Sunday, thanked the President of Pakistan Gen Pervez Musharraf for coming to Chitral


    Chitralnews.com: 'Decrying extremism'


    The president of Pakistan has just completed his two days visit to Chitral.

    No body can deny the fact that the President needs high security protection in these times, but then there is a limit to everything. Days before the presidential visit, over, an estimated two thousand paramilitary troops and police from different parts of the NWFP, as far as Tochi and South Waziristan were ushered into Chitral, manning and checking every passer by at every nook and corner. For the two days that the president stayed in Chitral, a virtual curfew was imposed in the town on the local population whom the president is never tired of calling ‘peace loving’.

    Even the sick were not allowed to reach hospitals as the roads were dead blocked and people ordered to stay indoors, for security reasons of course.



    posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 02:14 PM
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    Musharraf urged the people of Shandur in the Chitral district to stand firm against terrorists and extremists.


    India Monitor: Musharraf urges fight against terrorism, extremism

    July 11, 2006



    President General Pervez Musharraf urged the people of Shandur on Sunday to stand firm against terrorists and extremists in the remote mountainous region, where Osama bin Laden was once reportedly hiding.

    Pakistani officials have denied reports in the past that Osama may be hiding in Chitral, the district where Shandur is located. In May, a visit to Chitral by at least one American prompted a local lawmaker to allege that the FBI or the CIA had tried to set up an office there to hunt for the al-Qaeda chief.

    The lawmaker, Abdul Akbar Chitrali, told The Associated Press in May that four Americans, who were either from the FBI or the CIA, had arrived in Chitral in April but left the town after he led a protest against their presence there. Pakistani officials denied Chitrali's claim and the speculation on Osama's presence there.

    Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

    Related ATS Thread:
    Musharraf: Catch Bin Laden Somewhere Else



    posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 06:31 PM
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    They have big power problems in Chitral at the moment. And it seems like a conspiracy as well...
    An additional turbine which could solve the problem is being unused due to "administrative inefficiency". Computers, tv and refrigerators gets damaged by the low voltage...


    Chitralnews: Power crises worsens in Chitral

    23 July 06



    Electric power supply to Chitral town has become minimal in the last few days.

    When the power is supplied it is so low that refrigerators TVs and other appliances donot work. A large number of such appliances have gotten damaged due to the low voltage.

    'Chitral News' has learnt through reliable sources that there is an additional turbine at Reshun power house which is being wasted unused, and when put to use, can produce additional 1 MW power which is sufficient to solve this problem for the time being at least. However unfortunately, due to beaurucratic squabbles and administrative inefficiency, the needful which which ought to have been done long before, has not been done so far.

    Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

    Maybe somebody don't want Bin Laden to use the internet?



    posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 09:17 PM
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    [edit on 2006/7/26 by Hellmutt]



    posted on Jul, 30 2006 @ 08:21 AM
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    President Musharraf on Saturday approved a mass transit railway system for eight large cities. It will go through Chitral and is planned to link with Tajikistan and also China.


    President approves mass transit system for 8 cities: rail network to link Gwadar with China and Tajikistan

    July 30 2006



    President General Pervez Musharraf on Saturday approved a mass transit railway system for eight large cities, a Lahore-Rawalpindi high-speed rail link and a new track from Havelian to Khunjerab Pass to boost trade with China.

    Pakistan has already offered China a rail linkage through Khunjarab Pass to Gwadar, providing it shortest route for expanding its trade with the Gulf and the regions beyond. The pre-feasibility study will examine possibility of finding the most economical route to link Havelian with Khunjrab Pass and onward link through Chitral with Tajikistan.

    Despite heavy rain and standing water at places, the President inaugurated the High Speed Coaches Workshop. He shook hands with the workers, including Chinese workers who waved and clapped as he inspected various sections of the facility. The President also inspected the passenger coaches acquired from China and the ones being built in Pakistan. He was appreciative of the quality and announced Rs 1000 cash for each of the 1200 workers, including the daily-wage earners. The President was presented models of a Chinese train and engines by Chinese engineers.

    Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

    Another interesting ATS thread: Is Osama in China?!



    posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 03:54 PM
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    CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen says there is a sense that Osama Bin Laden might be in the Chitral area...


    CNN: Bergen: Bin Laden, CIA links hogwash

    Q: Has there really been a hunt for bin Laden, and if so by whom?
    Patrick Welch, Brewer, Maine

    BERGEN: There has been a hunt for bin Laden, but there's an interesting stalemate right now. Bin Laden, by any reasonable account, is in Pakistan and the U.S. military cannot go into Pakistan because the Pakistani government won't allow that. It would be political suicide for them to allow U.S. military to be tramping around their country.

    So, yes, there is a hunt, but it's somewhat stymied by the fact that the one place the U.S. military can't go and find him is the country where he's almost certainly in.

    Q: I would like to know if America is any closer to finding the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden today than we were before?
    Michele S., Slidell, Louisiana

    BERGEN: The one moment where the U.S. government knew where he was was the battle of Tora Bora. And now he's believed to be in the North-West Frontier province of Pakistan. There is a sense that he might be in a northern area of the North-West Frontier province in an area called Chitral.

    Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



    posted on Aug, 19 2006 @ 06:19 PM
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    A report made "less than a fortnight ago" for the Indian government says Al Qaeda's leadership was recently spotted in Pakistan near Afghanistan's Wakhan corridor. They say there is a possibility that they might have shifted base to the Wakhan corridor.


    Hindustan Times: Al Qaeda brass shifts base, sighted

    August 18



    HAS OSAMA bin Laden been sighted? A report with the government of India says al Qaeda's leadership was recently spotted near Darkot, a Pakistani village near the border with Afghanistan's Wakhan corridor. Government sources say the report was made less than a fortnight ago.

    Till now, bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri were thought to be in the rugged mountains of Pakistan, along Afghanistan's southeast border. There is now the possibility that they have shifted to the Wakhan corridor. Sticking out of northeastern Afghanistan, the corridor (a strip of land) is wedged between Tajikistan, Pakistan and the part of PoK known as Northern Areas. In 2003, bin Laden was thought to be in Chitral, in Gilgit, PoK.

    Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



    posted on Aug, 19 2006 @ 09:20 PM
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    Chitral lost 9-6 to the Gilgit tribe in an annual, bloody, take-no-prisoners, referee-less polo match. Some say this annual event is forestalling an actual war between the tribes...


    Southern Standard


    The Gilgit tribe beat Chitral, 9-6, this year in the annual, bloody, take-no-prisoners, referee-less polo match on a remote, 2-mile-high field on a mountain in Pakistan, an event that, despite its viciousness, some observers credit with forestalling actual war between the tribes.

    According to a May dispatch in ESPN The Magazine, clubbing of opponents is rampant; horses are treated more reverently than players; and when a star player was thrown and landed on his head, motionless and thought perhaps even to be dead, fans screamed for him to be cleared from the field quickly so the match could continue. He only had a broken neck and concussion.

    He "only" had a broken neck...

    Related ATS Threads:
    Here are a couple of "old" ats threads which might have relevance to Chitral and Al Qaeda:
    Al Qaeda Establish Islamic State In Pakistan (posted Feb 14 2006)
    US Helicopter Violated Pakistani Airspace (posted Jan 30 2006)



    posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 10:38 PM
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    Osama might be surfing the internet from Chitral. He is apparently very well informed of current events. He might celebrate his 50th birthday as a free man. Maybe he is even a member on ATS?



    WORLD: Osama 'spends his days watching CNN and surfing the Net' (AsiaMedia)

    August 24, 2006



    Five years after orchestrating the Sept 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States, the world's most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, leads a humdrum existence. Picture him cooped up in an unremarkable house, tuned in to TV news, clicking the mouse as he surfs the Internet. The fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is likely to find him in Pakistan's mountainous Chitral district, close to its border with Afghanistan, according to Mr Peter Bergen, a CNN terrorism analyst who has written two books on the Al-Qaeda chief.

    [---]

    Mr Michael Scheuer, who once headed a Central Intelligence Agency unit tasked to hunt Osama, tells CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour that the Al-Qaeda chief has been given permission by an unnamed young cleric in Saudi Arabia to "use nuclear weapons against the United States...capping the casualties at 10 million

    [---]

    Is the elusive Osama likely to mark his 50th birthday next March a free man? "In a sense it is not surprising we have not been able to find him," said Mr Bergen. "He's in Pakistan where the US military or Nato troops can't go.

    Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

    I wonder who this unnamed young cleric in Saudi Arabia is...?



    posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 11:55 PM
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    This time it's not the power that is failing, but the internet itself. The Chitralis cannot carry out business transactions and they cannot keep themselves updated on the internet, i.e. by reading this thread



    Chitralnews: Internet fails in Chitral

    25 Aug 06



    Internet service in Chitral has bogged down to an almost closure state since the last four days. Although many institutions, including banks, NGO offices etc rely heavily on this facility to transact their daily business but are helpless in the face of regular breakdown in this service due to recurrent faults in the microwave media.

    Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

    Other News:
    NewKerala Online Newspaper: Bin Laden could be hiding in Chitral in Northern Pakistan (from 25 Aug 2006)



    posted on Aug, 28 2006 @ 02:26 AM
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    MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal) legislator Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali is protesting very much the allegations that Bin Laden is in Chitral. I'm linking to a blog which in turn is linking to an article from the Hindustan Times.


    Never Yet Melted » Osama? What Osama? Osama Who?

    26.08.06



    The Hindustan Times reports a Pakistani legislature from Chitral (the northernmost district in the North-West Frontier Province) protesting his province’s innocence in exactly the manner which arouses the most suspicion.

    It's interesting to see all these rumours and denials of Bin Laden's presence in Chitral emerge now. Where were they when I started this thread?...





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