Osama not in Pakistan, says interior minister
Pakistan has blamed neighbouring Afghanistan's leadership for the irresponsible talk about Osama bin Laden.india Updated: May 29, 2006 14:48 IST
Pakistan has blamed neighbouring Afghanistan's leadership for the "irresponsible talk" about Osama bin Laden being in the country's Upper Dir region and asked President Hamid Karzai's government to put his own house in order instead.
Pakistan Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao ruled out Upper Dir in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) becoming the next battleground in the search for the Al Qaeda leader and his associates, the Daily Times newspaper reported.
"There is no iota of truth in the news report talking about Bin Laden's presence in the NWFP. The residents of the area need not be worried by such baseless reports," said Sherpao.
His comments follow a report by the American ABC News television channel claiming the Al Qaeda chief's presence in Pakistan. The channel's report quoted Pakistani officials for the information.
In his address to the tribal jirga, the minister reiterated that Pakistan would not allow its soil to be used by foreigners for terrorist activities.
He clarified that the operations in Waziristan was being conducted only to flush out foreign militants, who, according to him, had rejected the government's offer for general amnesty and registration with the Pakistani authorities.