Pakistan disputes Clinton on Al Qaeda chief

May 7th, 2012 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, May 7 (IANS) Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar Monday asked the US for information on Al Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahiri’s presence in Pakistan, after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed he was hiding in Pakistan.

“We want to disable Al Qaeda. Al Zawahiri is still on the run somewhere in Pakistan,” Clinton said in Kolkata on the first-leg of her India visit.

Khar was quick to challenge Clinton.

“If the US has any solid intelligence information on the presence of Al Qaeda leader in Pakistan, it should be shared with us so that the country can look into the matter accordingly.”

Khar was briefing the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) on the issue of the US drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions and parliament’s recommendation last month on Pakistan-US ties.

Parliament had unanimously passed a resolution, calling for an immediate halt to US drone strikes. Washington ignored the call by launching two strikes in a week which killed at least 14 people.

Khar said last week that the US does not listen to Pakistan over drone strikes, which Islamabad says is counterproductive in the war on terror.

Relations between the two countries have been hit after a NATO airstrike on two checkposts killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November 2011.

The foreign minister said she hoped Washington will respect the Pakistani parliament’s recommendations.

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