Islamabad, Sept. 20 (Reuters): Pakistan denied today there was any evidence of a plot to kill President Pervez Musharraf this week, despite a US government statement to that effect.
US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage had told a joint hearing of the Senate and House intelligence committees yesterday that Pakistani authorities had foiled a plot to bomb Musharraf while he was visiting Karachi.
But information minister Nisar Memon told a news conference this was not correct. “We did not find enough evidence to say that it was a plot,” he said. “We do not have any indication to confirm this.”
“Whatever Richard Armitage has said... Where did he pick up the information'” Memon said. Armitage's comments echoed Pakistani media reports yesterday, which were also denied by interior minister Moinuddin Haider. Memon said seven members of the militant group al Almi were arrested by Pakistani security agencies on Wednesday with substantial quantities of explosives.
Members of the same group have been accused of making an attempt on Musharraf’s life when he visited Karachi in April, but this time Memon said there was no evidence to suggest the explosives were meant for the President. Yesterday, Haider said the group was involved in a car bomb attack on the US consulate in Karachi in June that killed 12 people.
Musharraf, speaking in Islamabad yesterday after opening a conference on peace and security in South Asia, also denied there had been any such plan. “There is no threat to my life. God is great. He saves all,” he told reporters.