No knowledge of Osama bin Laden: Pakistan

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Islamabad, Oct 9 (UNI) Pakistan Information Minister Sherry Rehman today said if Pakistan has any knowledge of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's location within its borders, it goes without saying that, it will take action ourselves.

She was commenting on statements by US Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama about the presence of bin Laden in and around Pakistani tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

''If our allies share intelligence with us over high-value targets we will pursue them on the ground. However, we will not allow anyone to challenge our sovereignty and no country should violate Pakistan's territorial integrity,'' she told mediapersons here.

About future relationship with a new US administration, the Federal Information Minister said Pakistan will certainly dialogue with the new US President for enhancing our bilateral broad-based relationship, strategic goals and will continue to pursue Pakistan's national security interests.

''This battle can only be won when our entire nation takes ownership of it. Our religion and Constitution have no room for using violence, suicide bombings and fear as a tool to coerce innocent people. We as a government are doing our best to build a national consensus on strategic goals,'' she added.

The Parliament, she said, has also been given an in camera briefing on national security today and ''we hope that all responsible citizens will match our efforts and commitment to root out reasons that support extremism.'' She said Pakistan has suffered the most at the hands of extremism and our nation has very high stakes in a terror-free state.

''Our three-pronged policy on dialogue, development and deterrence will show dividends as we have public support behind us. Pakistan is united against extremism and there is no ambiguity in government's zero tolerance for it,'' she added.

UNI XC PD PM1656

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