Pakistan says it will continue to press Afghanistan's ruling Taleban movement to surrender suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
Pakistan Interior Minister Moinuddeen Haider told reporters in Islamabad today (Saturday) his government has a duty to keep trying to persuade the Taleban to comply with international anti-terrorism demands or it will face threatened U-S military strikes.
Mr. Haider's remarks come one day after the Taleban told a group of visiting Pakistani Islamic clerics it would not bow to U-S pressure to extradite the Saudi dissident to face trial on terrorism charges. The Taleban has asked Mr. bin Laden to leave Afghanistan voluntarily. It has refused to expel him.
President Bush has identified Osama bin Laden as the chief suspect in plotting the September 11th terrorist attacks against the United States. Washington also has issued an arrest warrant charging him with planning and financing the August 1998 bombings of two U-S embassies in east Africa.
Pakistan is the only government that has diplomatic ties with the Taleban. Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf has pledged his support to the U-S-led campaign against Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network and other international terrorist groups.