Pakistan asks US to share intelligence on al-Zawahiri
Pakistan on Sunday asked the United States to share intelligence about the whereabouts of al-Qaeda's new chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri, dpa reported.
The statement came in reaction to a claim by US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta that Al-Zawahiri was hiding in Pakistan's lawless tribal region along the Afghan border.
Talking to reporters before his arrival in Kabul on Sunday, Panetta also urged upon Islamabad to take out the al-Qaeda chief.
"We expect the US intelligence establishment to share available information and actionable intelligence regarding Al Zawahari and other HVTs (high value targets) with us, enabling Pakistan's army to carry out targeted operations," Pakistan's military spokesman, Major General Athar Abbas, said in a statement.
"Pakistan's Army is already carrying out intense operations against al-Qaeda and its affiliates, who are a threat to security of our country and people," said Abbas. "This includes pursuit and targeting terrorists leadership and high value targets."
Pakistan and the US are engaged in war of words since previous al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan's north-western city of Abbottabad on May 2.
Islamabad says the US commando action that killed former al-Qaeda chief was unilateral and unauthorized, while Washington has questioned Pakistan's will to fight Islamist militancy.
Amid strained relations, Pakistan has recently expelled more than 100 military trainers from the US and Britain while a New York Times report said on Saturday that the US was suspending about one-third - around 800 million dollars - of its military aid to Pakistan.