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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 June, 2005, 06:33 GMT 07:33 UK
Pakistan signs anti-terror deal
Australian Prime Minister John Howard (L) and Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf
Both sides agreed to share intelligence and training
Australia and Pakistan have signed a deal to boost their efforts in the fight against terrorism.

The agreement was reached in the Australian capital Canberra during a historic visit by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

He is the first Pakistani leader to visit Australia.

As part of their agreement, the two countries will share intelligence and information and also take part in joint training of their forces.

"I've told the president how much I personally and the Australian government admires his courageous participation and that of his country in the fight against terrorism," Australian Prime Minister John Howard said.

"He himself has survived two assassination attempts. It's a measure of the danger that he's exposed himself to in participating in that fight."

On Tuesday, President Musharraf said that foreign investment would help Pakistan in its war on terror.

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

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.

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

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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