Gilani says Pak soil should not be used for terrorism

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday indirectly acknowledged that the US had provided a list of five top terrorists it wanted Pakistan to take action against.

Updated: Jun 06, 2011, 20:59 PM IST

Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza
Gilani on Monday indirectly acknowledged that the US had provided
a list of five top terrorists it wanted Pakistan to take
action against and said Pakistani soil should not be used for
terrorism directed against any country.

"As far as the list is concerned, they (the US) have
always had concerns about the (militant) leadership and
commanders affiliated with al Qaeda.

"We also have concerns that Pakistani soil should not
be used for terrorism," Gilani told a news conference in
Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province.

Gilani was responding to a question on whether US
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had handed over a list of
wanted terrorist leaders during her recent visit to Pakistan.

"If they spoke of any list, naturally there is
intelligence-sharing by the ISI... but they must be related to
al-Qaeda," he said.

Reports said the US list featured the names of
al Qaeda mastermind Ilyas Kashmiri, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Afghan
Taliban chief Mullah Omar, commander Siraj Haqqani and Atiya
Abdel Rahman, the Libyan operations chief of al Qaeda.

Kashmiri was reportedly killed in a US drone strike in
South Waziristan on Friday.

Asked about the reports of Kashmiri`s death, Gilani
replied: "As far as the death of Ilyas Kashmiri is concerned,
America has confirmed that his death occurred on Friday".

Gilani said it was "illegal" for Pakistani soil to be
used for terrorism against a third country.

"We should make efforts to ensure that foreign
terrorists do not come to Pakistan and indulge in terrorism as
this creates problems for Pakistan," Gilani added.

He appealed to the political leadership and media to
identify the "black sheep who are involved in disturbing peace
and (in) killings", saying it was "not good" for Pakistan that
terrorists like Osama bin Laden had been found in the country.

Such developments bring a bad name to the country and
embarrass expatriate Pakistanis, he said.

Replying to a question on the US continuing its
campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan`s tribal belt despite a
parliamentary resolution condemning the attacks, Gilani said
the government had informed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
that the resolution was "morally binding".

"There is pressure from the parliament on the
government. We have told them that Pakistan should get the
drone technology and be in the driving seat.

"We are taking up this issue through diplomatic
channels as a responsible nuclear state and we are hopeful we
will convince them," he said.

Gilani, who visited Balochistan to assess the law and
order situation in the restive province, said Pakistan wants
to maintain "excellent relations with our neighbours, whether
it is India, Afghanistan or Iran".

It also wants relations on the basis of mutual respect
and mutual interest with the West, including the US, he said.

In response to a question, he said no agreement had
been finalised for China to take up the Gwadar port. He said
he was "not aware of the context" of Defence Minister Chaudhry
Ahmed Mukhtar`s remarks in this regard.

"We have an agreement with Singapore (on operating
Gwadar port) and till it is done away with, we cannot talk to
anyone else," he said.

PTI