A total of 148 al-Qaida militants were detained when crossing the Afghan-Pakistani border, reported Pakistani interior minister Moinuddin Haider saying that other information would follow. The minister told the United Arab Emirates-based newspaper al-Halij on Saturday that the Pakistani-Afghan border is reliably protected by the interior ministry's border units, local tribes and, for the first time over the 54 years of existence of Pakistan, by army units. The interior minister ruled out Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar fleeing to the territory of Pakistan, China and other neighbouring states and added that most likely they were still hiding in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan. Speaking about the struggle against terrorism, Haider underlined that Pakistan itself was the victim of terrorism and had been combating it for two years now. According to him, about 150,000 units of various arms were confiscated this year alone. The minister also pointed to his country's readiness to cooperate with India in examining the consequences of attack on parliament in Delhi, December 13th, and extradite the suspected if the Indian side proves their guilt.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.