U.S., Pakistan Talk Terror War
Apr. 19, 2002
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ U.S. and Pakistani security officials have been discussing ways to step up the campaign against terrorism, including tighter controls along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, Pakistani officials said Friday.
``U.S. officials are in close touch with Pakistan to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the war on terrorism,'' said Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema, head of the Interior Ministry's national crisis management team.
A four-member U.S. delegation, including members of the State Department and FBI, met Wednesday with senior Interior Ministry officials, said Cheema, who headed the Pakistani side at the talks.
Cheema said a number of proposals for improving border security were discussed, including an offer by U.S. authorities to train Pakistani police and intelligence officers.
``Various proposals for exchanging intelligence information'' were also discussed, he said.
Interior Minster Moinuddin Haider is to visit Washington next month to continue the talks.
U.S. officials are concerned that al-Qaida and Taliban remnants from Afghanistan have been able to cross into Pakistan, despite the deployment of thousands of Pakistani troops in the semiautonomous border tribal areas.
Pakistan is a key member of the U.S.-led coalition fighting terrorism, allowing U.S. forces to use its military facilities to carry out operations in neighboring Afghanistan.
Pakistani and U.S. security forces have also conducted a number of joint raids on suspected al-Qaida hide-outs in the country, capturing one of Osama bin Laden's top lieutenants, Abu Zubaydah.