‘Nobody has a clue where bin Laden is’

We read in the Western press that Osama bin Laden is hiding in Waziristan in northwestern Pakistan, and hear from the Afghan foreign minister that your government «half-heartedly» attacks the Taleban and al-Qaida. What is your response? Pakistan is one of the countries at the forefront of the war against terror, because we believe in a peaceful world. No country can allow terrorism within its territory. This is a global issue and we have a global coalition to fight terrorism, for the sake of peace, for the sake of coming generations. As regards Osama bin Laden, nobody has a clue – with due respect to anybody who says they know – where he is. If the world knew, they would go after him. He is the man the whole world is looking for. To say that he is in a particular area is really totally without foundation. Nobody knows where he is. As regards Pakistan’s efforts to promote security in the region, it is in our interest to have a stable Afghanistan. If your neighbor is strong and stable, it is good for you; if your neighbor is destabilized, it affects the whole neighborhood. When the Soviets left Afghanistan, Pakistan paid the biggest price, with millions of refugees and the flow of arms and drugs. All that now – with our security efforts – is being contained. Afghanistan is doing a lot too. The situation in Afghanistan is improving, which will promote the cause of peace in the region and improve the overall environment for growth. Does your government’s support for George W. Bush’s war against terrorism have popular support? Our involvement in the war against terror is in our own national interests. This is not being done to please anybody; it it is being done to promote security and stability in Pakistan and the region.