Hard to believe nobody in Pak Govt knew Al Qaeda’s hiding places: Clinton

Hillary ClintonLahore, Nov 16 : US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that the safe haven that Al Qaeda had found in Pakistan was “very troubling”, and added that it was hard to believe that nobody in the Pakistani Government knew the hiding places of Al Qaeda.

“These terrorists are still actively engaged with the elements of the Pakistani Taliban that are threatening the state of Pakistan,” Hillary told the German weekly magazine SPIEGEL in an interview.

“And it was only recently that Pakistan, through its civilian leadership and its military leadership, actually made the decision that this was a threat to them ... my point really was to say: it is a very high priority for my government to capture or kill the Al Qaeda leadership. And we need more help from you in order to be able to achieve that.”

Asked if leading members of the Pakistani secret service were still supporting extremists, Hillary said she did not believe it was happening “at the highest levels”.

“But we have tens of thousands of people in our government in sensitive positions... I would like to see a real effort made on the part of the top leadership to make sure that no one down the ranks is giving any kind of support to the Qaeda leadership,” the Daily Times quoted Hillary, as saying.

She believes Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are safe, as the government and the military have taken adequate steps to protect the arsenal.

“The nuclear arsenal that Pakistan has, I believe, is secure. I think the government and the military have taken adequate steps to protect that,” Hillary said.

About a proposed troop increase in Afghanistan, the top US diplomat said President Barack Obama had not made a final decision yet.

“I think it is fair to say that in the course of our examination, our goal is to defeat Al Qaeda and its extremist allies.” (ANI)