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63 Al-Qaeda Terrorists Apprehended in Pakistan in 5 Weeks

Pakistani Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat said in Islamabad Monday that the country's law enforcing agencies have arrested 63 terrorists from different parts of the country in the past five weeks.  

"These terrorists include as many as 12 foreigners and 51 Pakistanis," Faisal told reporters in the Parliament House.


He said that since early January the majority of the al-Qaeda linked terrorists were arrested from the houses of activists of an Islamic party Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), which is an important member of the country's religious opposition alliance Mutahida Majlas-e-Aamal.


"The government has all the rights to investigate the relationship of detained al-Qaeda activists with the JI and if any leader of Jamaat is needed to question, we will not hesitate to do so," Faisal said.


He, however, clarified that it has to be investigated if the detained al-Qaeda activists are having personal relations with those JI activists who provided the foreigners with their residential houses or being a religious political party, JI "is sponsoring them."


He said that the arrested terrorists also included those involved in an attack on Finance Minister and Prime Minister Designate Shaukat Aziz recently.


Faisal disclosed that the law enforcing agencies foiled an attempt to carry out terrorist activities in Islamabad on the occasion of Independence Day Saturday. He refused to giver any further details.


(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2004)

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