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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 June, 2005, 07:11 GMT 08:11 UK
Musharraf on key Australia visit
President Musharraf salutes a guard of honour in Parliament House, Canberra
It's the first visit by a Pakistani head of state
Pakistan's President, Pervez Musharraf, has begun a historic visit to Australia that is expected to focus on counter-terrorism and trade.

President Musharraf was warmly greeted with a 21-gun salute and a guard of honour when he arrived in the Australian capital, Canberra.

He is the first Pakistani head of state to visit Australia.

He will hold talks with Australian premier John Howard and other officials before leaving for New Zealand.

The president was welcomed at the start of his three-day visit by Governor General Michael Jeffery and Prime Minister Howard at parliament house.

Speaking at the National Press Club, he said that foreign investment would help Pakistan in its war on terror.

I know that [Osama bin Laden] is alive... because of our information and interrogation of various al-Qaeda operatives
President Musharraf

"When you assist us in our industry, you are indirectly assisting us in fighting terrorism," the Associated Press quotes President Musharraf as saying.

The president also laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at the Australian War Memorial.

Bin Laden 'alive'

Pakistan is on the frontline in the war against terror, with its army hunting suspected al-Qaeda-linked militants in the unruly tribal region of South Waziristan bordering Afghanistan.

Osama Bin Laden is widely believed to be hiding in the area and President Musharraf told journalists in Canberra he was most certainly alive.

"I know that he is alive. Most likely he is alive, yes, because of our information and interrogation of various al-Qaeda operatives that we have apprehended," AFP quotes him as saying.

"Maybe he is in the border region in hiding wherever he sees a vacuum."

Reports say that Australia and Pakistan are likely to share intelligence on Australians suspected of being involved in the militant training camps in Pakistan.

Australia is trying an architect, Faheem Khalid Lodhi, who is accused of plotting terror attacks on Sydney.

Mr Lodhi was born in Pakistan and has dual Australian nationality.


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