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Pak not to give pol or physical space to terrorists: Qureshi

world Updated: Oct 10, 2009 21:41 IST
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Pakistan today said it would not give any "physical or political space" to any terrorist organisations in the country, as the Obama administration has put more focus on eliminating al-Qaeda and Taliban safe havens on Pak-Afghan border.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, now on an official visit in Washington, on Saturday said his government would get rid of terrorist safe havens and denied "physical, political and ideological space" to terror groups.

"We have no choice. For our own security and for protection of our people, we have to get rid of these safe havens," he said speaking to a Washington think-tank here.

Qureshi's remarks assume significance as the Pakistan army is on the brink of launching a major military assault on South Waziristan, Taliban stronghold, located close to border with Afghanistan.

Experience gained from military operations in Swat, the challenges of managing internally displaced population and the subsequent reconstruction and rehabilitations efforts serve as a template for further operations in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan, he said.

"Terrorists are in retreat, with their top leadership in Malakand and Swat are either captured or killed. The leader of the Pakistani Taliban Baitullah Mehsud is dead. Taliban in the tribal region are in disarray. No single leader holds sway over disparate factions," Qureshi said.