WANA, April 25: A top tribal militant pardoned by the Pakistan government has vowed to continue jihad but pledged that he would not use the Pakistani soil to launch attack on neighbouring Afghanistan.

"Any Muslim can go to any country to wage jihad but Waziristan's soil will not be used to fire at Afghanistan," he told Dawn when asked whether he would continue his jihad in Afghanistan.

Asked whether he would cooperate with the government to get foreign militants registered by the stipulated April 30 deadline, the 27-year-old militant said: "There will be no operation and catching foreigners is not part of the agreement."

Nek Mohammad's assertions run counter to the impression given by the government official that the tribal militants who had been accused of sheltering and facilitating foreign militants would account for their foreign guests and get them registered with the authorities.

Also, Nek insisted that there were no foreigners in South Waziristan. "There is no Al Qaeda here. There are people from all races of Afghanistan. There are Afghan Uzbeks and Tajiks.

Over three million refugees had come to take shelter in Pakistan and they are everywhere. Had there been a single Al Qaeda fighter here, the government would have caught one by now," he said.

President Pervez Musharraf had said there were 500 to 600 foreign militants in South Waziristan. The ISPR spokesman told a news briefing in Peshawar on Saturday the figure now was far less. He did not say where and how many of the foreign militants had gone.

Nek Mohammad is one of the five tribal militants pardoned by the government during a ceremony at a Madrassah on Saturday. The Corps Commander, Peshawar, Lt-Gen Safdar Hussain had flown into Shakai, a village about 17km to the north of regional headquarters Wana, to announce the clemency.

The tribal militant said there could be no guarantees between brothers. "We the Mujahideen and Pakistan Army are brothers," he said.

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