Zee News : Pak asks for evidence to back US claim of al-Qaeda build-up

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pak asks for evidence to back US claim of al-Qaeda build-up

July 18, 2007

Islamabad: Pakistan today dismissed as "unsubstantiated" a US intelligence report which said al-Qaeda militants are acquiring safe haven in the country's northwest, and sought "concrete and actionable" evidence to back Washington's claims.

"Pakistan is determined not to allow al-Qaeda or any other terrorist entity to establish a safe haven on its territory. In fact, Pakistan has done more than any other country to weaken and destroy al-Qaeda," Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said.

Sticking to the stand not to permit foreign troops to hunt al-Qaeda and Taliban militants holed up in Pakistan, she said Islamabad is determined not to allow them any safe haven within its territory and the international community should not doubt its commitment.

"Our position is very clear that any counter-terrorism action inside our territory will be taken by our own security forces. This is the basis of our cooperation".

She said Pakistan continues to take effective action against any remnants of al-Qaeda and other terrorists and extremist elements.

"We would firmly act to eliminate any al-Qaeda hideout on the basis of specific intelligence or information".

She said the US national intelligence report had made some "unsubstantiated" observations. "It does not help simply to make assertions about the presence or regeneration of al-Qaeda in bordering areas of Pakistan. What is needed is concrete and actionable information and intelligence sharing".