01/12/2007, 00.00
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Pakistan: “US hasn't shared information on al Qaeda leaders”

John Negroponte, U.S. intelligence chief, said yesterday that al Qaeda leaders are holed up in Pakistan. Islamabad said United States had not given it any information about this and remarks his genuine commitment to fight terrorism.
Islamabad (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Pakistan said on Friday the United States had not given it any information about the presence of al Qaeda leaders, following remarks from U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte that they were holed up in Pakistan. Moreover, Pakistan’s commitment to fighting terrorism is genuine and the country remains an important ally of the United States
"We have no such information nor has any such thing been communicated to us by any U.S. authority," Pakistan's military spokesman Major-General Shaukat Sultan said.
Washington's ally has always contended that Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al Zawahri could be either side of the rugged, porous border with Afghanistan. But in an unusually direct statement, Negroponte on Thursday named Pakistan as the centre of an al Qaeda web that radiated out to the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
In a testimony to a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Negroponte wrote, without naming bin Laden or Zawahri, that al Qaeda leaders are holed up in a secure hide-out in Pakistan. He said they were rebuilding a network that has been decimated by the capture or killing of hundreds of al Qaeda members.
Many security analysts suspect that bin Laden is likely to be hiding in Pakistan's tribal regions or neighbouring districts of North West Frontier Province. There has also been speculation that he may have died, though intelligence agencies say they have not picked up any supporting evidence.
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