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Qaeda in Pak a wild guess: Musharraf

Pervez Musharraf challenges anyone to provide him with firm intelligence and adds, "They can be anywhere."

world Updated: Dec 09, 2007 15:24 IST

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has denied that Al-Qaeda leaders were present in the country.

In an interview to CNN, Musharraf said, "It is just their guess. So, I don't want to make such wild guesses."

The Pakistani president challenged anyone to provide him with firm intelligence, adding, "They (Al-Qaeda) can be anywhere."

Musharraf also underlined that he would not support any political party in the upcoming polls, stressing that all political parties would be given an equal chance, according to Daily Times.

He said the elections would be held in a free and fair manner, and that foreign observers would be welcome to review the polls.

The president reiterated emergency would be lifted by the second week of December.

Musharraf said once the emergency was lifted on December 15, the situation in Pakistan would be much better. The legislation to revoke the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) was in its final stages and the constitution would be revived by December 15, he added.

He said growing militancy in Pakistan's north was a reason for imposition of the state of emergency, and added that the Swat operation was going on successfully.

He said security forces have managed to destroy important militant bases, which is a good sign for the country.

He also maintained that Pakistan is determined to fight terrorism and will continue its role in the war against terror.

Musharraf declared a state of emergency in the country on November 3, citing a growing rift between the country's three pillars of state as one of the reasons for its necessity.

The move has been met with international criticism, including the suspension of the country's Commonwealth membership. It has also raised concerns that the upcoming general elections would not be held in a free, fair and transparent atmosphere.