Tags: Pakistan | U.S. | Form | Anti-terrorism | Group

Pakistan, U.S. To Form Anti-terrorism Group

Tuesday, 07 May 2002 12:00 AM

The delegation also plans to discuss the plight of Pakistani prisoners in U.S. jails and some Pakistani suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The joint working group, the officials said, may include members of the FBI and Pakistani intelligence. The FBI already has an office in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. President Pervez Musharraf said recently that U.S. anti-terrorism experts are providing "information and communication facilities" to the Pakistani security forces.

Pakistan, however, denies reports that U.S. Special Forces and Pakistani troops are conducting joint raids along the Afghan border to trace al-Qaeda and Taliban fugitives reportedly hiding there.

Officials in Islamabad said the delegation is going to the United States with new proposals for catching Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists.

In Washington, the Pakistani team is expected to meet National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Attorney General John Ashcroft, State Department Coordinator for Counter-terrorism Francis X. Taylor and Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca.

The team also plans to hold separate meetings with FBI officials to discuss joint operations against the terrorists, the officials said.

Besides the interior minister, the Pakistani delegation includes chiefs of the Federal Investigation Agency, National Database and Registration Authority and the National Crisis Management Cell.

The delegation is expected to urge U.S. officials to review charges against more than 250 Pakistani citizens arrested in the United States after Sept. 11 for immigration violations.

Pakistan wants Washington to release those not involved in criminal or terrorist activities.

Officials in Islamabad said that some members of the delegation may also visit the U.S. Navy prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to see Taliban and al-Qaeda suspects.

The suspects include at least a dozen Pakistani citizens. Pakistani officials said several of the prisoners were Taliban foot soldiers not involved in terrorist activities against the United States and the officials requested their release.

The delegation is also scheduled to arrive with a list of 15 Pakistani citizens living in the United States who, the officials say, face criminal charges in Pakistan. They include several politicians and retired government officials accused of stealing millions of dollars from government funds.

"We are demanding their extradition so that they could be tried back home," said a senior Pakistani official.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The delegation also plans to discuss the plight of Pakistani prisoners in U.S. jails and some Pakistani suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The joint working group, the officials said, may include members of the FBI and Pakistani intelligence. The FBI already has an...
Pakistan,,U.S.,Form,Anti-terrorism,Group
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2002-00-07
Tuesday, 07 May 2002 12:00 AM
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