President Musharraf says bin Laden is not in Pakistan

Monday, July 1, 2002

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- If Osama bin Laden is alive it is "almost impossible" for him to be in Pakistan, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said Monday.

"I can't say for sure whether he is dead or alive," Musharraf told a news conference. But "one thing I am certain about is that he can't be in Pakistan."

Musharraf, speaking after a meeting with Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, said that if bin Laden were alive he would be traveling with a large group of supporters for security, and that such a group would be easy to spot.

For "a large body of people, it is not possible to have sanctuary in Pakistan," Musharraf said.

"He cannot be hiding in one small corner of Pakistan," he said. "Remaining there without being found is almost impossible."

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