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Can't believe Pakistan doesn't know Al-Qaeda whereabouts: Clinton

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said during her trip to Pakistan that she finds it difficult to believe that Pakistani officials do not know the whereabouts of Al Qaeda operatives, reports the New York Times.

world Updated: Oct 30, 2009 17:31 IST

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said during her trip to Pakistan that she finds it difficult to believe that Pakistani officials do not know the whereabouts of Al Qaeda operatives, reports the New York Times.

"I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are, and couldn't get to them if they really wanted to," she told a group of journalists in Lahore on Thursday.

"Maybe that's the case; maybe they're not gettable. I don't know," New York Times quoted her as saying.

Clinton's remarks upset her hosts, who have seen hundreds of soldiers and civilians killed and government officials rejected her assertion.

"If we knew where Al Qaeda's leaders were, or if we had meaningful intelligence on their whereabouts shared with us, we would act against them," said a senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The New York Times report went on to say that "her comments also gave voice to the longtime frustration of American officials with what they see as the Pakistani government's lack of resolve in rooting out not only Al Qaeda, but also the Taliban leadership based in Quetta, and a host of militant groups that use the border region to stage attacks on American and NATO forces in Afghanistan".

During her meeting with university students, she said: "We have to decide if we want to move beyond the past in your country and in our country."

"We are now at a point where we can chart a different course."

The Pakistani army has launched a major offensive against the Taliban, which has dramatically stepped up terror attacks across the country, including in capital Islamabad. Nearly 200 people have been killed in a string of terror strikes since October 5.