DHAKA: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday the United States believed the chief of Al-Qaeda was in Pakistan and she vowed to keep up pressure on militant groups in the country.
‘We want to disable Al-Qaeda and we have made a lot of progress in doing that’, Clinton told an audience in India, a week after the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan by US special forces.
‘There are several significant leaders still on the run. Zawahiri, who inherited the leadership from Bin Laden is somewhere, we believe, in Pakistan’, she added.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian cleric, was second-in-command under bin Laden and was regarded by US intelligence agencies as chief ideologue for the militant group.
Clinton also said the US would keep up pressure for the arrest of the founder of Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) who is wanted over the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
The United States last month offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the conviction of Hafiz Saeed, who lives openly in Pakistan and is considered a mastermind of the assault in India that killed 166 people.
Clinton on Monday said she was ‘well aware that there has not yet been the steps taken by the Pakistani government’ that could help in securing Saeed’s conviction.
Saeed has openly defied the US announcement by holding press conferences in Pakistan.
BDST: 2004 HRS, MAY 7, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosna, Cultural Affairs Editor
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