Al-Qaeda chief is in Pak: Hillary

Al-Qaeda chief is in Pak: Hillary

US Secy of State unhappy with Pak anti-terror effort

Pakistan is yet to take action against LeT founder Hafiz Saeed despite pressure from India and the US, and could be harbouring al-Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahiri, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said here on Monday.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

At an interactive session, the visiting US Secretary of State said Pakistan “has not done much” to fight terrorism.

“Pakistan has lost far more people than India and the US – 30,000 lives have been lost in Pakistan in terrorist attacks. It is in the interests of their sovereignty that they (Pakistan) will have to go after terrorism more effectively,” Clinton said.

Referring to the conviction of Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Clinton said: “The US has announced a $10 million bounty on the man who masterminded the Mumbai attack and it's a way of raising the visibility and pointing out to those who are associated with him that there is a cost for that. We're going to be pushing that point and we want everybody who is associated with that (Mumbai attack) brought to justice.” Asked what was on top of their agenda after the elimination of Osama bin Laden, the former US first lady said: “We want to disable al-Qaeda. We have made lots of progress. Many of their leaders are on the run. Some are in Pakistan. We want to go after them.” Hinting at Zawahiri, who inherited the leadership from bin Laden, being somewhere in Pakistan, Hillary said: “There are several significant leaders still on the run. We want to go after them.”

Regarding US reservation on India’s oil imports from Iran, she said Tehran has been continuing its nuclear programme.  The nuclear weapons can fall into the hands of the terrorists. “We want to avoid this. It is not about US policy but there is an international consensus on this issue.”

Terming nuclear-armed Iran the biggest threat to world peace, Hillary said the problem with Iran goes far beyond this region. “We want them to change their policy.”

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