‘No for­eign troops can op­er­ate on Pak soil’

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

WASHINGTON: Pak­istan ruled out the no­tion of any for­eign troops op­er­at­ing on its soil, with its top diplo­mat in Washington stressing that Pak­istani forces are ca­pa­ble of han­dling the mil­i­tant threat within the coun­try's bor­ders.

"Pak­istani forces are ca­pa­ble of han­dling the mil­i­tant threat within our bor­ders and no for­eign forces are al­lowed or re­quired to op­er­ate in­side our sov­er­eign ter­ri­tory," Pak­istan's am­bas­sador to the United States Hu­sain Haqqani said.

He was com­ment­ing on a story in The New York Times, which claimed that US com­man­ders based in Afghanistan were push­ing for spe­cial forces raids on mil­i­tant tar­gets across the border into Pak­istani ter­ri­tory. Haqqani said "US and Pak­istani forces un­der­stand each oth­ers terms of en­gage­ment well" and have a very high-level of co­op­er­a­tion as al­lies fight­ing a com­mon en­emy, along the Afghan border.

"We work with our al­lies, es­pe­cially the US, and ap­pre­ci­ate their ma­te­rial sup­port but we will not ac­cept for­eign troops on our soil - a po­si­tion that is well known," he stated.

Re­mind­ing crit­ics of Pak­istan's anti-ter­ror ef­forts along the Afghan border, where the coun­try has de­ployed well over 100,000 troops, Haqqani said: "We have made enor­mous gains and tremen­dous sac­ri­fices in fight­ing ter­ror­ists over the last two years and will con­tinue our ef­forts for our own se­cu­rity and that of the whole world."

He pointed out that Pak­istani and US of­fi­cials re­main con­stantly in touch and "do not need anony­mous source news re­ports to tell us about each oth­ers' think­ing."

In this con­text, the am­bas­sador cited the re­cent visit of US Chair­man Joint Chiefs of Staff Ad­mi­ral Mullen, who dur­ing his trip "ac­knowl­edged Pak­istan's con­tri­bu­tion".

"Noth­ing dis­cussed dur­ing his trip in­di­cates the like­li­hood of ill-ad­vised es­ca­la­tion or uni­lat­eral ac­tion by Nato troops be­yond their man­date in Afghanistan." Pak­istan, Afghanistan and the US will "con­tinue to work to­gether to root out al Qaeda and other ter­ror­ists and bring sta­bil­ity and pros­per­ity to our re­gion," the am­bas­sador noted. -PB News

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