Mulla Omar, Osama not in Pakistan: PM Gillani

Clinton played Osama card once again to put pressure on Pakistan. Ironically, no one in this Pakistani government was able to ask her about any proof to back her claim.

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani on Tuesday categorically stated that neither Mulla Omar nor Osama Bin Laden are in Pakistan and if any one has any credible and verifiable information it should be shared with us.

Talking to a delegation of All Pakistan News Agencies Council led by Mohsin Beig here at the Prime Minister Secretariat, he said, the role of news agencies is very significant in disseminating information and influencing the public opinion.

He directed the Ministry of Information to develop close liaison with the All Pakistan News Agencies Council in order to strengthen the professional linkages.

He asked the news agencies representatives to discuss their proposals with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to work out details of government assistance.

Replying to a question regarding the issue of fake degrees, the PM said that to every wrong, there is a remedy. He stated that whenever a seat is declared vacant, the Election Commission would hold elections within the prescribed time schedule.

Clarifying confusion in media reports about Afghan Transit Trade, the premier said that a broad-based understanding was reached to initiate discussions foAdd Videor possible agreement. An agreement can only be signed after ratification by the cabinet, he said.

The PM said that according to the Rules of Business, an advisor can advise the prime minister but cannot take decisions on his behalf.

About coverage of Pakistan’s participation in the US Nuclear Summit, the prime minister said that it was for the first time that the world accepted Pakistan’s nuclear status.

The Kashmir dispute is the core issue between India and Pakistan and New Delhi should take the dialogue process between the two countries seriously, Gillani said.

Underlining his resolve to take the Indo-Pak dialogue process further, the prime minister said the Kashmir dispute is the “core issue” between the two nations.

“We want to take the dialogue process further,” Gillani.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday she believed Osama bin Laden was still in Pakistan, in a television interview between high-level talks in Islamabad.

I believe (bin Laden) is here in Pakistan and it would be very helpful if we could take them (al-Qaeda leaders),� Clinton said. The US secretary of state sought tougher action from Islamabad to combat militants ahead of a key conference in Afghanistan.

There are still additional steps that we are asking and expecting the Pakistanis to take, she told the BBC. … there is no doubt in anyones mind that should an attack against the United States be traced to be Pakistani it would have a very devastating impact on our relationship, she added.

Clinton confirmed that Washington planned to formally designate the Haqqani network while cautiously welcoming other Afghan plans to talk with and reintegrate fighters who renounce violence.

We know that the Haqqani network is behind many attacks in Afghanistan. Its clearly a terrorist group, Clinton told reporters. The fact that there may be discussions with this group (or others) is something were willing to support as long as there are specific guidelines.

A senior US official speaking on condition of anonymity said closer ties with Pakistans powerful army chief General Ashfaq Kayani were helping in the struggle against the militant Haqqani network.

Clinton met Kayani for closed-door discussions late Monday and was scheduled to fly to Kabul for a key international conference focused on planning the war-torn countrys future with less dependency on its western backers.

Hillary Clinton and Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani exchanged views on a set of issues, including Pak-US strategic relations, regional security situation, prevailing situation of Afghanistan and cooperation between the armed forces and intelligence agencies of the two countries in the war on terror.

Hillary Clinton, during the meeting, reiterated the commitment that the US wanted robust and cohesive ties with the political and military leadership of Pakistan. Besides economic assistance, military aid would also be enhanced for Pakistan every year and all the pledges made with the Pakistan armed forces with reference to enhancement in the capabilities of Pakistan security forces would be delivered, she underscored.

Sources told Gen Kayani stressed that US commitment for meeting requirements of the Pakistan armed forces besides provision of drone technology be met early.

Meanwhile, addressing representatives of civil society at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA), Hillary Clinton, said �intensive discussion had begun to explore a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan, but outlined issues to be addressed including rigorous controls over the export of nuclear information and material.

Export controls, and the problem with Mr AQ Khan raises a red flag for people around the world and not just in the USA, because we can trace the export of nuclear information and material from Pakistan through all kinds of channels to many different countries. That is an issue, Clinton said.

Clinton also criticised Pakistan for standing in the way of a proposed international treaty to prohibit the further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices.

I just want you to understand that we are fulfilling our commitment to pursue this… but it is not a one-way street, she said. There has to be an awareness that certain questions that people have in their minds… must be addressed, Clinton added.

Hillary Clinton said the role of the US was supportive regarding the dialogues between India and Pakistan on the matters of mutual interest. She said the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue was an attempt to broaden the relationship and covered 13 different sectors of working while its implementation would be assured through the Kerry-Lugar-Berman economic assistance package.

During the interactive session, Secretary Clinton lauded the steps taken by the democratic government in Pakistan focussing on women empowerment in the form of Women Harassment Bill and Sexual Harassment Law.

She said in its various ongoing and new projects, the US assistance will focus on issues of maternal health, women sports, training, skills and unemployment, women economic empowerment, domestic and social violence, which have largely targeted women in the region.

Regarding a question on the freedom of the media and the interaction of the Pakistani media with the US, she said the recent policies of the US had engaged the media in its different programmes, adding: We have dramatically increased our collaboration with Pakistani media.

In the field of education, she said the US wanted more Pakistanis to come to the US for education through scholarships in order to create an awareness of the US culture among the young people.

The US is keen for increasing business activities in Pakistan and create an environment of investment to attract more foreign investments, Secretary Clinton said while discussing the export of Pakistani mangoes to the US markets.

Answering the questions on the issues and needs of energy sector in Pakistan, she said energy and water projects were the priority of the strategic dialogue.

Meanwhile, during the short flight between Islamabad and Kabul, Hillary Clinton described as very good her two-day visit to Pakistan ahead of her arrival for an international conference in Afghan capital Kabul. All in all (it was) a very good visit,she told journalists.

Clinton concluded her visit with closed-door discussions with army chief General Ashfaq Kayani on what she termed the best means of achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Clinton said she and Kayani discussed Pakistans request for excess defence assets, something that we think makes a lot of sense how we can better exchange intelligence. I understand the challenges they face, she added.



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