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Pakistan not a source of terrorism: British diplomat

A senior British diplomat also praised the country's role in the international struggle against militancy.

india Updated: Sep 09, 2006 04:26 IST

A senior British diplomat on Friday said that Pakistan is not a "source of terrorism," and praised the country's role in the international struggle against militancy.

"It was not possible to defeat the Taliban without the support of Pakistan," Britain's Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells said at a news conference after visiting the town of Torkham near the Afghan border.

"Pakistan is not a source of terrorism," Howells said. "It is fighting against terrorism."

Howells' comments came a day after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf held talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the Afghan capital, Kabul, and acknowledged that Taliban and al-Qaida militants were crossing from Pakistan to launch attacks in Afghanistan.

However, Musharraf on Thursday denied earlier allegations by the Afghan government that Pakistan's main spy agency was helping the militants.

He also defended his government's recent agreement with pro-Taliban militants in the North Waziristan tribal region along the Afghan border, saying it was aimed at ensuring peace through a political process instead of fighting.

Under the pact, the militants are to halt attacks on Pakistani forces in the region and stop crossing into Afghanistan to attack U.S. And Afghan forces.

Howells suggested Karzai consider a similar deal on the other side of the border.

First Published: Sep 09, 2006 03:49 IST