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Pakistan Supports Fight Against Terrorism - 2001-09-15

Pakistan has pledged full support to any international reply to the terrorist attacks in the United States. But officials are not publicly specifying what that support would entail.

Pakistan's cabinet and the National Security Council met Saturday to discuss how the country would respond to a U.S. request for cooperation and any possible move against suspected terrorist bases in Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar told reporters after the meeting that Pakistan will comply with all United Nations resolutions that seek to combat "international terrorism." "Pakistan will extend full cooperation in the fight against international terrorism," he said. "Consistent with Pakistan's policy of support for the decisions of the [U.N.] Security Council, the government will discharge its responsibilities under international law."

Pakistan has ties with the ruling Taleban movement in Afghanistan, which is sheltering Islamic militant Osama bin Laden, a prime suspect in Tuesday's attacks on New York and Washington.

News reports say Pakistan has agreed to U.S. requests to provide its air space, if Washington decides to attack targets in Afghanistan. But Mr. Sattar refused to give specific details on the American request or how Pakistan would respond.

"The government has received a list of proposals from the United States for specific cooperation and support. We are in the process of discussions, with regard to details of the specific proposals," said Mr. Sattar. "I can only indicate to you our general policy of support for the fight against terrorism."

The United States is reported to have asked Pakistan to cooperate in gathering information about the terror attacks, cut off fuel supplies to the Taleban and close its border with Afghanistan. According to Foreign Minister Sattar, security along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan has been increased. "Pakistan has taken certain precautions in view of the dense situation," he said. "We have increasing vigilance on our borders. We do not want our borders violated by anyone."

The United States has threatened retaliation against those responsible for attacks in New York and Washington, and countries which harbor them.