April 14, 2010

          Contrary to US intelligence assessment, Pakistan Prime Minister has claimed that world's most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden is not in his country and said no distinction could be made between a good and a bad Taliban.

"Certainly he is not in Pakistan" Gilani told CNN on a visit here to attend the Nuclear Security Summit. He said if Osama had been on Pakistani soil he could not have escaped the ongoing military operations.

The Pakistan Prime Minister admitted he had little information on the whereabouts of the Al-Qaeda chief and said that Pakistan army had conducted widespread operations in region such as Swat, South Waziristan and Orakzai tribal region.

       "Our military operations have been very successful... and if Osama was hiding in these areas he could have been nabbed...I don't know whether he is alive or dead". Pakistan Prime Minister said that he was not in favour of negotiation with Taliban."Because at times we talk of good and the bad Taliban. I have always believed that militants are militants. We hardly discriminate between the good Taliban and the bad Taliban", Gilani said, appearing to be agreeing with the Indian viewpoint.The Pakistan Prime Minister said that militants only wanted to destabilise the system. "Our people have let it be known they will not allow handful of extremists and terrorists to intrude our peaceful way of life and inclusive culture".But Gilani said if there was actionable intelligence or credible information regarding Bin Laden Pakistan was ready to share it with the US.

Gilani also "denied" another media report in a US daily that the ISI still has links with the Taliban, Al Qaeda and other extremist elements."In fact, we are having excellent cooperation, in the field of intelligence and defence between the US and Pakistan, and we have jointly and even separately had identified the targets, we got them arrested and they are now facing the courts," he said.Islamabad has very good relationship with the US, Gilani claimed, adding that Pakistan is cooperating with the US on the war against terrorism.Gilani further denied a Washington Post report that Pakistan recently released two high-ranking Taliban that they captured."That would be done by the court," he said, adding that Pakistan has its own laws.


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