With his country facing heightened international scrutiny after deadly bombings in Britain and Egypt, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf asserted Monday that Al Qaeda was too weak to organize terrorist attacks from his nation’s soil.
“We have shattered and eliminated their command system there,” he said.
Musharraf told journalists in the eastern city of Lahore that Pakistani security forces had overrun Al Qaeda “sanctuaries” in rugged tribal regions along the Afghan border on the west and had captured 700 fighters.
Musharraf has tried to deflect speculation that Pakistan has harbored terrorism masterminds, saying last week that his nation should not be labeled lax simply because three of the four suicide bombers in the July 7 London transit system attacks were of Pakistani origin and had visited Pakistan in 2004. Egyptian authorities are also searching for several Pakistanis after Saturday’s deadly bombings at the resort of Sharm el Sheik.