Pakistan’s Interior Ministry has presented a sensitive report to the President General Pervez Musharraf claiming that the Hindu lobby in cooperation with the state of Israel is actively launching a campaign to place Pakistan as the next target of the US-led global war on terrorism.
The report had been presented in the framework of an Inter provincial meeting held in Islamabad aimed at discussing the law and order situation in the country. It had also been submitted to a high-ranking meeting held on recently under the chairmanship of Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf, according to Pakistan News Service (PNS).
The lobby, according to the report, was also pushing the “nefarious propaganda” that the US could never eliminate Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network and other terrorist groups unless the extremist groups including the Al-Qaeda organization were targeted within Pakistan.
In the report, it has been disclosed that armed Taliban forces, following their downfall in Kabul, have crossed over the borders to neighboring countries.
Pakistan has increased its security on its common borders with neighboring Afghanistan, however, the report suggested, further security measures still needed to be heightened.
In view of the report, a large amount of Arab and Afghan nationals belonging to bin Laden’s Al-Qaida network have already been arrested.
A significant number of deadly clashes also have occurred between Al-Qaeda members taking safe refuge in the areas of Chaman, Torkham, Northern Waziristan and Kurram Ageny and Pakistani law enforcement agencies when the Taliban fighters had tried to slip into Pakistan.
In a specific incident, according to the report, in the midst of a shoot out at the Kurram agency, 13 people, including 6 law enforcement personnel had been killed.
The sensitive report added that the Pakistani government had taken all necessary measures to put in place an effective security system at the borders and improve stability within the country. Moreover, the Federal government had also provided an additional amount of Rs 205 million to the different provinces in order to control law and order, the report added.
Furthermore, with regards to the situation in the aftermath of the US attacks on Afghanistan, law and order in Pakistan had assumed a new dimension, it said.
The US has failed as of now in its efforts to track down Al-Qaeda leader and suspected terror mastermind Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, nor has it succeeded in eliminating the Al-Qaeda network, the report concluded.
In a related development, commander of the US forces in Afghanistan said Wednesday that they might cross the border into neighboring Pakistan to capture or kill Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters widely believed to have found safe sanctuary in that country.
During an interview at his headquarters at the Bagram Air Base situated in the war-stricken country of Afghanistan, Major General Franklin L. Hagenbeck said chasing Al Qaeda and the Taliban into Pakistan would be a "last resort" carried out with the approval of Pakistani leaders, The New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, an estimated 20 miles from the border with Pakistan, near Khost, American troops had been attacked from several directions on Tuesday night, American military officials said. One soldier had been injured.
General Hagenbeck said it was not clear whether the Americans were caught in fighting between Afghan factions or had come under attack from Taliban or Al Qaeda fighters.
American commanders have said that fighting in Afghanistan may rise as the snow melts during the spring season. There also have been growing indications that American military leaders are thinking about expanding the field of action by moving against Taliban and Al Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan, where the government says it has deployed thousands of troops to seal the border.
General Hagenbeck did not provide specific information, however said any eventual move into Pakistan would more likely be planned to thwart movements by the opposing side rather than to stage a chase across national frontiers.
"Hot pursuit would probably be my last resort," General Hagenbeck said, quoted by the Times. "What we would try to do is anticipate any type of operations that would cause the enemy to go into Pakistan, and we would try to coordinate with the Pakistan government, and our ambassador in Pakistan, before we did any of those kinds of operations."
Meanwhile this week, General Tommy R. Franks, the commander of American forces in the region, asked Pakistan's President, General Pervez Musharraf, to take part in joint military actions to capture Al Qaeda and Taliban forces moving back and forth across the border, according to a senior Pakistani government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
General Musharraf made no decision on General Franks' request, the senior Pakistani official added.
On Tuesday, George Tenet, Head of the CIA, in testimony to the Senate Armed Forces Committee, said he needed "a lot more help" from countries where Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters may have escaped.
"There's still many, many points of exit that people in small numbers can get out," Tenet said.
The Pakistani government has denied knowingly harboring Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters, although its intelligence agencies routinely assisted the Taliban until General Musharraf decided to break with the Afghan mullahs following the September 11 attacks. (Albawaba.com)
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