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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Pakistan denies Osama bin Laden manhunt

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, June 7 (UPI) -- Pakistan has denied its forces in North-West Frontier Province are on a manhunt for the world's most-wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden.

Islamabad said the security forces are engaged in a broad offensive against terrorism.

Rejecting the theory that Osama was hiding in Pakistan as speculation, Inter State Intelligence head Major General Shaukat Sultan said it was unfair to point a finger at his country when the United States, with its high-technology surveillance and advanced intelligence, had not been able to trace him.

"(Osama) could be anywhere. Our own thinking is that he is still in Afghanistan," Sultan said. The Hindu newspaper Wednesday reported that Sultan reiterated Pakistan's commitment to the war on terror and its role in the U.S.-led coalition.

"But we are not into a single manhunt. It is a broad war on terror. Overall, we want to finish terrorism," he said adding his government outrightly condemns terrorism, despite recent accusations from India. "If India had evidence to back its (Kashmir) allegation, it should share it with Pakistan.

"There is nothing that Pakistan is doing to promote terrorism in Kashmir. The reality is that there is proper freedom struggle going on there. You cannot equate it with terrorism," the intelligence chief said.

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