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Mintier: Pakistan's president gets U.S. briefing

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CNN correspondent Tom Mintier is in Islamabad, Pakistan.  


(CNN) -- U.S. ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlin briefed Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday, as the United States began laying out its evidence against Osama bin Laden in the terrorist attacks of September 11.

CNN correspondent Tom Mintier is in Pakistan, and talked about Tuesday's events with CNN's Leon Harris.

MINTIER: That meeting lasted about 90 minutes with the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Wendy Chamberlin, briefing the president of Pakistan on what the status is of the investigation by the United States that links Osama bin Laden to the September 11 attack on New York and Washington.

Now, they also discussed a wide range of other areas and activities, according to a source at the U.S. Embassy, but the president received an oral presentation from the ambassador on the investigation status to date -- basically an update. That is what the Pakistanis have been asking for a long time now, to be briefed on what links there are for Osama bin Laden to the terrorist acts that were committed in the United States.

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The president in his speech a couple of weeks ago to the nation said he wanted to see the evidence. And in an interview with CNN just a couple of days ago, he said he wanted to see the evidence and was waiting to see it.

The United States is briefing its allies around the world, usually through diplomatic cable and then representatives from the Embassy. In this case here, the ambassador making the presentation, but around the world, the allies are being briefed today on the status of the investigation by the United States.

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Also, a demonstration here in Pakistan today against the government and against the help being provided to the United States. In Quetta, a large demonstration, thousands of people filled the streets and made their way around a hotel where most of the international news media is gathered, chanting "death to America" and promising that Afghanistan would become a graveyard for U.S. troops if they came there. This is definitely a pro-Taliban rally.

Also, another demonstration in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where the Taliban has their political headquarters. Again, the same type of rhetoric coming out of that demonstration in Kandahar. Supposedly 10,000 people took to the streets there, burning an effigy of President Bush and shouting "death to America."

So there are demonstrations both in Pakistan and in Kandahar, but the Pakistani president has now been briefed on the status of the investigation, being provided the evidence in person by the American ambassador.

HARRIS: Tom, I want to ask you about a storm cloud that may be brewing to the south of you there from India. I don't know if you've seen these reports this morning, but CNN's been able to confirm that there was a terror attack in India. A bomb was exploded outside of a legislation building in Srinagar in India and 29 people were killed and a group from Pakistan claimed responsibly.

And India is now saying that it's rather ironic that Pakistan's been saying that there are no terrorist groups operating out of Pakistan and yet this event comes at this particular time. Have you heard anything at all about that?

MINTIER: You know, there have been strong words from both sides in the last couple of weeks here. During the president's speech he told India, and used the words in English, lay off, and now we see this terrorist attack in Srinagar that basically took the lives of 29 people outside the legislature there. It comes at a very, very bad time as everyone is trying to look somewhere else.

When the EU delegation was here over a week ago, a question came up in the press conference of the foreign ministry on Kashmir and basically the head of the EU delegation said now is not the time to talk abut Kashmir. But as incidents like this fire up, it raises serious questions as to who is doing what where, and it's serious questions that the government of Pakistan is going to have to answer.



 
 
 
 


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