'Pakistan cannot Intervene in Bin Laden Case'

Published June 25th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Pakistan is unable to help the United States apprehend alleged terrorist Osama bin Laden and the US should discuss his extradition with the Afghan authorities, Pakistani interior minister, Moinuddin Haider, said on Sunday  

"He is neither a Pakistani national nor he is our problem. We cannot help the US in this matter," Haider said, urging Washington to hold talks with the Islamic militia ruling Afghanistan. 

Bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi dissident who is on the FBI's list of its 10 most-wanted men, is sheltered in Afghanistan. 

He is accused of masterminding several terrorist attacks against the United States, including the twin bombings of US missions in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998 that left more than 200 people dead. 

The US has asked Pakistan to help convince the hard-line Taliban to hand over bin Laden, as the Afghan militia has refused repeated requests saying it is against Afghan culture to expel a "guest." 

"Afghanistan is a sovereign country and we cannot interfere in their internal affairs," Haider told reporters. 

Pakistan military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, said on Friday his nation as well as the US was concerned about bin Laden and terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. 

The UN imposed financial and aviation sanctions against Afghanistan last year over its refusal to hand over bin Laden to stand trial in the US.  

Reports have said the UN have considered further sanctions. 

The Taliban authorities claim the US failed to provide any evidence to establish bin Laden's involvement in the terrorist incidents. 

US Undersecretary of State, Thomas Pickering, during a visit to Islamabad last month, met Afghan deputy foreign minister Abdul Jalil and reiterated the demand. 

"Pakistan can and must play a role in the extradition of bin Laden," Pickering told reporters after talks in Islamabad - ISLAMABAD (AFP) 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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