South Asia

US Secretary of State Asks Pakistan to Take Decisive Action Against Militants

ISLAMABAD, May 27 (Xinhua) — The visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday said that the United States hopes Pakistan to take decisive action against the militants in the coming days.

Speaking to reporters after she met with Pakistani political and military leaders in Islamabad, Hillary Clinton said Osama bin Laden is dead but al-Qaida still poses a serious threat.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses a news conference with Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff at U. S. embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan on Friday, May 27, 2011. (Courtesy: Xinhua/AFP Photo)

“Al-Qaida had safe heavens here in Pakistan. Vicious terrorists had been living in Pakistan over the past decades and operated from here. They target people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and anywhere in the world,” Hillary Clinton said.

 

Hillary said “there is no evidence to suggest that any one at highest level in the Pakistani government knew that Osama bin Laden was living just miles from Islamabad”.

She said both sides also discussed investigation into the network who had been supporting Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, adding that Pakistani side assured the U.S. delegation that investigation is underway.

The U.S. Secretary of State also said the U.S. side told Pakistani leaders that they will share with Pakistani investigators information about the people who had been supporting and facilitating the al-Qaida chief.

She disclosed that the U.S. authorities got access to the Osama bin Laden compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad and witnesses in the area. She thanked Pakistani army and its intelligence for allowing the U.S. investigators to visit the compound where Osama bib Laden was killed on May 2.

She said that Pakistani leaders told her that no one in the government had been involved to shelter the al-Qaida chief and President Asif Ali Zardari said that al-Qaida was behind the assassination of his wife Benazir Bhutto. Benazir Bhutto was killed in gunshots in December 2007.

“We both captured many al-Qaida men in Pakistan and this was not possible without Pakistan’s cooperation,” said the U.S. Secretary of State.

“Still much work is required and urgent, we discussed detail to dismantle al-Qaida and drive them out from Pakistan and the region, we will do on our part. We ask Pakistan to take decisive action in the future to make Pakistan and the U.S. secure,” she said.

About Pakistan’s role in reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan, Hillary Clinton said that Pakistan must be a part of that process, adding that many Afghans had been living in Pakistan and Pakistan has a legitimate interest and its interest must be taken into account.

“We discussed Pakistan perspective about Afghanistan to support international community in Afghanistan,” she said, and described as very important the trilateral process involving Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States. She said that the two recent trilateral meetings in Islamabad and Kabul were very important towards the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

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