Twenty people lost their lives in Islamabad on May 27 as a result of an attack carried out during a religious demonstration that assembled thousands of people. You can not control everyone. From work carried out by our services since September 11, 2001, it is worthy to highlight that numerous members of Al Qaeda were able to sneak into Pakistan. Without our efforts the situation would be worse than in Afghanistan.
We have carried out a great number of secret operations. The bad news is public, not the good news. We are smashing Al Qaeda. The network is no longer in operating condition; we have neutralized several of their high level leaders. What we are doing is not for the United States, but for the security of our country and for Islam. Muslims, as everyone else, are concerned about terrorism. When members of Al Qaeda go to Pakistan, some of them remain in the interior, but others go to the cities where they think they will be safer. Khaled Sheikh Mohammed was stopped in Rawalpindi, where he had settled down. We arrested others in Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore and other cities. This is a war in which we don’t know the opponent.
We are keeping an eye on Talibans identified by the Afghan government, we have them listed. They are people who cooperated with Al Qaeda. We have 3.2 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan. We cannot arrest all of them; it is necessary to proceed in a selective manner. It is difficult to know if the Pakistani population supports the anti-terrorist operations. The need for anti-terrorist action is something that I am convinced of and something that foreign investors hope to see in order to have a flourishing economy, employment and infrastructure. If we do not bring law and order, we won’t attract investment. In that sense, I believe that the policy adopted after September 11, 2001 by General Pervez Musharraf will be rewarded.

Die Welt (Germany)

Kein Krieg, in dem man den Gegner kennt ,” by Aftab Khan Sherpao, Die Welt, June 7, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.