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Pak knows where Osama is: Hillary sticks to tough stand

world Updated: Jul 20, 2010 15:25 IST

Agencies
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Elements in the Pakistan Government, in particular its intelligence establishment, know where Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, is hiding inside the country, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said, declaring America will not be satisfied till it gets the most wanted fugitive of the world.

This put to rest the speculation that she will try softer tack in this latest visit to Islamabad. The last time Hillary went to country, she was asked why the US killed innocent civilians with drones to which she speculated that in her belief, Pakistan officials had the knowledge of Laden's whereabouts, according to a report on the International Herald Tribune.

"I don't want to put a proximity or timeline on it (getting bin Laden). As I've said, we have gotten closer because we have been able to kill a number of their trainers, their operational people, their financiers," Clinton said in an interview to the Fox News channel in Islamabad.

She said the US and international forces were getting closer to the fugitive. "But I won't be satisfied until we get it done," she said.

The Secretary of State said she believes that some elements in the Pakistan Government knows where Osama is hiding.

"I think elements in the government do (know the whereabouts of bin Laden). I've said that before. But I think it is also important to know we have been getting with Pakistani cooperation a lot of the top leadership of Al Qaeda," she said.

"We haven't gotten bin Laden or Zawahiri, but we've consistently been able to track and kill a lot of their principal leadership. So there is a story to be told here. It's not yet what I want it to be, because as having been a senator from New York on 9/11, I want those guys. I will not be satisfied until we get them," she said.

"But we've made a lot of progress. We've created a closer cooperative relationship between the United States and Pakistan, in going after what are now common enemies," she said.

Referring to Pakistan taking up the fight against militant groups, Clinton said that there were arguments put forward by Islamabad that how many fights that they can take on with various groups.

To this, Clinton said she had told the Pakistani leadership "look, you've got to take on every non-governmental armed force inside your country, because even though you think they won't bother you today, there is no guarantee. Its like keeping a poisonous snake in your backyard.

"Oh, it will only go after the stranger or intruder, You don't know whether tomorrow it will go after you, so we have been making that case and I find greater receptivity to it, but we still have to make it stronger," the US Secretary said in an another interview in MSNBC on the same topic. (With PTI inputs)