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Pakistan has done much in anti-terror war: Malik

Thursday, November 25, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said Wednesday that most of the explosives used in bomb attacks on its territory were smuggled from Afghanistan but insisted it was restricting the cross-border movement of insurgents fighting US troops.

“All these IEDs (improvised-explosive devices) are actually being transported from Afghanistan to Pakistan,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told a national conference on countering the threat from roadside bombs.

“With naked eyes, you can see on the border… that the terrorists are coming towards Pakistan, along with arms and ammunition.”

Seven paramilitary troops were wounded in a bomb attack on the outskirts of Hangu in Pakistan’s northwest on Thursday, police and security officials said.

Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan are characterised by mutual suspicion, although ties between the two governments have recently improved.

Taliban insurgents fighting for nine years against the foreign forces are alleged to have rear bases in Pakistan, where Afghan and US officials say their leaders enjoy at least some measure of protection from Pakistan.

Pakistan flatly denies any collusion and says more than 2,420 of its soldiers have been killed fighting militants since 2002.

Another 3,835 people have been killed in suicide and bomb attacks blamed on home-grown Taliban and other extremist networks across Pakistan in the last three years.

Washington considers Pakistan’s tribal belt an al Qaeda headquarters. Pakistan has carried out offensives in the area, but so far resisted US demands for a ground operation in North Waziristan, considered the premier militant fortress.

“When we were asked to do more, we have done much, much more. And today you have seen, the crossing from our side is nominal,” said Malik.

The minister blamed Afghan militiamen for destroying bio-metric systems that made it impossible to identify the tens of thousands of people who cross the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan daily.

“We really do not know how many terrorists, how many drug barons, how many criminals are crossing every day,” said Malik.

Malik used his speech to request greater assistance from the international community in boosting police training and forensic capabilities.

“We need your moral support. We need your practical support in building the capacity, both for the police and of course our armed forces.”

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