She criticises Islamabad for not doing enough to contain terrorism

The U.S. has reason to believe that Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's successor Ayman al-Zawahiri is “somewhere in Pakistan,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said here on Monday even as she criticised Islamabad for not having done enough to contain terrorism.

“We want to disable Al-Qaeda…There are several significant leaders still on the run. Al-Zawahiri, who inherited the leadership from Osama, is somewhere, we believe, in Pakistan. So we are intent on going after those who are keen on keeping Al-Qaeda operational and inspirational,” Ms. Clinton said when asked about the future of the War on Terrorism at an interactive session with a cross-section of society in a school here moderated by NDTV’s Barkha Dutt.

Strongly critical of the Pakistan administration for not doing enough against terrorists, Ms. Clinton said that despite repeated requests from India and the U.S., Pakistan had not yet taken steps that would lead to the capture of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

“We are well aware that there have not yet been steps taken by the Pakistani government to do what both India and the U.S. have repeatedly requested that they do and we are going to keep pushing that point,” Ms. Clinton said, adding that she had recently authorised a $1-million reward for information leading to the capture of Hafiz Saeed.

Counter-terrorism

Ms. Clinton said the U.S. would “continue to work to try to have a mutually beneficial framework” for a counter-terrorism partnership with Pakistan that ensured that they could target those responsible for the deaths of Afghans and Americans in Afghanistan as well as Pakistanis on their own soil.

“Pakistan has lost far more people in the last 10 years — more than 30,000 — in terrorist attacks than either India or the U.S. have. And it is in their interest and in the interest of their sovereignty to go after terrorists who are operating on their territory and you have to demonstrate that they are not going to cede authority or territory to terrorists,” she said.

Ms. Clinton revealed that the photograph, showing U.S. President Barack Obama, Ms Clinton and other members of the national security team looking tense as they received live updates of the operation in which Osama was eventually killed, was probably taken at a moment when one of the helicopters developed a problem as its tail got caught on the wall of the compound.

“That was a very stress-filled moment because we had to get another helicopter in to take out the men in that [the first] helicopter and we had to blow up that helicopter. Before we blew up the helicopter, we had to get the women and children out of the house so that they would not be endangered,” she said, explaining the “intensity of expressions on everybody's faces.”

More In: National | News