Osama is not in Pakistan, says Malik

June 21, 2008


ISLAMABAD, June 20: Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Affairs Rehman Malik has said that Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden is not in Pakistan and those making claims of his presence in the country should give evidence of it.

“In our opinion, he is not in Pakistan’s area and those who talk about his presence in Pakistan should present the evidence,” he told a private TV channel while commenting on statements from the West, especially a recent one from US presidential candidate Barack Obama.

In reply to a question about media reports that the US had provided a new list of wanted terrorists hiding in Pakistan, the adviser said the government had not received such a list. “The reports in this regard are incorrect.”

He said the country’s law-enforcement and investigation agencies were capable of dealing with terrorists and they had been doing their job efficiently.

Rejecting an impression that the arrested suspects might be sent to the US for interrogation, he said the government was carrying out investigations and those arrested would face trials in the country. “If the arrested suspects are found guilty, they will be punished according to the law of land and if found innocent they will be acquitted.”

Mr Malik insisted that the debate about intrusion of Afghan forces into Pakistan should end after President Hamid Karzai’s clarification that he had said nothing about pushing his country’s troops across the border for action.

He said peace in the region was in the interest of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.