Islamabad: The Pakistani government has no information about the presence of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in the country, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Monday, hours after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington believes he is somewhere in Pakistan.
Khar made the remarks while briefing the Parliamentary Committee on National Security in Islamabad. Clinton, who was in Kolkata, had said early on Monday that US believes Zawahiri is somewhere in Pakistan.
"We have no information about the presence of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Pakistan," Khar said.
If anybody has any information in this regard they should share it with Pakistan, she said.
Clinton had said that Washington is "intent upon going after those who are trying to keep al-Qaeda operational and inspirational" and that it was in Islamabad's interest to pursue terrorists who are operating in Pakistani territory.
During her briefing for the parliamentary panel, Khar said US drone attacks were counter-productive and a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty.
Talks are being held with the US in the light of recommendations adopted by parliament for resetting bilateral relations, she said. She said the US has been informed of Pakistan's concerns about drone strikes.
In his remarks Parliamentary Committee on National Security chairman Raza Rabbani said no compromise will be made on the country's sovereignty. The US should show respect for the recommendations passed by Pakistan's parliament, he said.
For years, Pakistani leaders had denied salin al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's presence in the country before he was killed in a unilateral US military raid in the garrison town of Abbottabad in May last year.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson dismissed Clinton's remarks on Zawahiri as "conjectures".
Asked about Clinton's comments on Zawahiri, Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan told: "These are all conjectures. If the US has any evidence, information or actionable intelligence, they should share it with us".
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