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Qaeda leadership network broken: Pak

world Updated: Oct 07, 2009 14:00 IST

PTI
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Even as al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's arrest still eludes Pakistani authorities, they claimed to have broken the back of the terror network by either eliminating or capturing the second and third tier of its leadership.

"To a great extent, (we have) broken the back of the militants, the Swat operation, the Malakhan operation has broken the back. The second tier, the third tier of leadership has been eliminated or arrested," Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told CNN in an interview.

Qureshi argued that the militants were running away from Pakistan. "And they are not necessarily running into Afghanistan. There could be other destinations they are looking for. Perhaps to Somalia," he said.

Qureshi said his government is seeking a long-term commitment from the United States and during his meeting with top American leaders, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he got a positive feeling in this regard.

"What we are looking for is a long-term commitment to the region and Pakistan," he said.

When asked about America's direct involvement in Pakistan, Qureshi said this would not be accepted by his government as Pakistan is capable of fighting militants itself. "No, we don't need that (US troops in Pakistan).... because we are capable of doing it ourselves," he said.

"No. It (US troops) will not be accepted by the people of Pakistan," he said.