THE government says it will investigate a British
newspaper report that a Myanmar arrested in Pakistan earlier this
month was suspected of being linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist group.
A government statement said the report appeared
in the May 17 edition of the Financial Times, which quoted a Pakistani
official as saying the arrest could provide a new opening
on al-Qaedas connections to Myanmar.
The statement did not indicate whether the
Financial Times had identified the man, who was arrested in the
Pakistani port city of Karachi.
The government of Myanmar will investigate
this allegation with utmost urgency once it has the opportunity
to review the information and materials obtained by the Pakistani
authorities, a government spokesperson, Colonel Hla Min, was
quoted as saying in the statement.
He said the government has been sharing information
with the United States and countries in the region about terrorists
operating along Myanmars western border.
The Government of Myanmar has relentlessly
committed to fight against all forms of terrorism and to work with
the Association of South East Asian Nations and the US in its effort
of cooperation, Col Hla Min said in the statement.
He said some members of the Rohinga Muslim
separatist group in Rakhine State have been linked to both al-Qaeda
and the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan for five years until being
ousted in a US-led invasion in 2001.
Col Hla Min said many Rohinga members had given
up their terrorist activities and were cooperating with the government
in maintaining the national unity as well as stability of
However, we shall remain ever vigilant
not only in safeguarding Myanmar but the region as well, from the
threat of any forms of terrorism, Col Hla Min said.
An official at the Pakistan embassy in Yangon
told Myanmar Times last Wednesday it expected to receive official
information about the arrest by early this week and it would be
provided to the government, if requested.
Al-Qaeda gained notoriety for the September
11, 2001, attacks in the United States and has also been blamed
for other acts of terror, including recent bombings of foreign residential
compounds in Saudi Arabia.