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Pakistan: No bin Laden arrest deal

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan's prime minister has disputed a news report that said Osama bin Laden would not face capture if he agreed to lead a "peaceful life."

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told CNN on Wednesday that "anybody who is wanted or is a terrorist or has committed acts of terror anywhere in the world and is wanted, there is no immunity for such people."

And, Aziz added, that "this notion that anybody who has a record as a terrorist will get safe haven -- we would not even think of doing that."

The detail about the al Qaeda leader came in an ABC news report about Tuesday's signing of a peace agreement between pro-Taliban tribal leaders and the government, a pact designed to end violence in the restive northern Waziristan region along the Pakistan-Afghan border.

ABC quoted Pakistani officials as saying that bin Laden would not be subject to capture in Pakistan, if he agreed to lead a "peaceful life."

He "would not be taken into custody ... as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen," the network quoted Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan as saying.

While Aziz expressed incredulity at the idea that bin Laden would be immune from capture, he called the agreement with tribal leaders "very wise." Bin Laden is thought to be hunkering down somewhere along the rugged border region.

"We are at peace with this agreement," said Aziz.

Under the deal, Pakistani troops would halt its military campaign and militants would halt attacks on Pakistani forces in northern Waziristan and stop cross-border raids into Afghanistan targeting U.S. and Afghan troops.

The agreement also envisions that foreigners living in northern Waziristan would be asked to leave Pakistan, but those who cannot leave could live peacefully, respecting the law of the land and the agreement.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry disputed "a statement attributed to the spokesperson of the president by ABC News that Osama bin Laden will not face capture in Pakistan if he agrees to lead a 'peaceful life.' "

"The spokesperson said that this is a gross misreporting. The president's spokesperson, Major General Shaukat Sultan, was speaking of the peace agreement signed on the 5th September 2006 with the tribal leaders in north Waziristan.

"In response to a question, Major General Shaukat Sultan stated that foreigners settled in the area would be allowed to stay there on the condition that they live peacefully and abide by law. At no stage during the conversation he said that this was applicable to Osama Bin Laden. "

In Washington, Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Mahmud Ali Durrani underscored Aziz's position, saying Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan had been "grossly misquoted in a section of U.S. media today."

"Pakistan is on the hunt for Osama bin Laden and his associates. If he is in Pakistan, today or any time later, he will be taken into custody and brought to justice. No amnesty has been granted to Osama bin Laden."

In Kabul on Wednesday, Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf was meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss the war on terror, and security cooperation as the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks approaches.

Both countries have been critical of each other for not doing enough to capture militants.


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