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Pak prez once again claims Osama is dead, seeks more aid

September 10, 2009 13:12 IST

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has claimed that Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden is dead, but has sought more international aid to expand military operations against the Taliban in areas where Americans believe he may be hiding.

The Pakistan president, however, did not give any evidence or details supporting his claim that the world's most wanted terrorist was no longer alive.

Asserting that his government was fighting the militants with determination, Zardari said these efforts were hampered by what he called "lack of resources".

In an interview to BBC to mark his first year in office as president, Zardari's emphasis was on Pakistan's ailing economy and to make a pitch for much more enhanced assistance from the West.

"If the world's armies and the world's budgets cannot look after (the Afghan) side of the border, give me more time and give me the resources that I need and we will deliver," he said.

Zardari said this when he was asked when Pakistan would act against Taliban militants based on its soil who carried out cross-border attacks against foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Zardari had put forward the same claim earlier too; however, Washington had not accepted his claim.

His remarks on Osama being dead run contrary to American belief that the Al Qaeda chief is alive and is hiding in Pakistan's restive tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.
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