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US Denies Pakistan Involvement in Taleban Resupply Effort

Arms and fuel are probably being transported from Pakistan to Taleban-controlled areas of Afghanistan. But senior U.S. officials say such shipments are without the approval of the Pakistani government.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says there is no doubt that supplies are flowing to the Taleban from neighboring countries like Pakistan. He says such trade is not helpful to the U.S. led anti-terrorism campaign.

At the same time, though, he told reporters at the Pentagon Thursday that it is wrong to think Pakistan's government is involved in the illicit re-supply effort. "There's also no question but that Pakistan and the president of Pakistan and his government are very much allied with us in this effort and have been enormously supportive and helpful," he said. " So to suggest that it is a conscious effort on the part of the government would be a misunderstanding of the situation."

Mr. Rumsfeld was responding to a Washington Times newspaper report about covert aid to the Taleban from Pakistan.

On a related issue, the defense secretary said he is sure Pakistan's president and the Pakistani government are taking special precautions to ensure the safety of the country's small arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Rumsfeld said he has seen no evidence that any of the weapons have been compromised.

Pakistan is one of the countries in the region that the U.S. defense secretary may visit following a brief trip to Moscow. He departs for the Russian capital on Friday.