Monday, January 7, 2008

US Military Not Welcome in Pakistan

US Military Not Welcome in Pakistan

06/01/2008 The Pakistani military reacted angrily Sunday to reports that US President George W. Bush is considering covert military operations in the country's volatile tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

"It is not up to the US administration, it is Pakistan's government who is responsible for this country," chief military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said.

"There are no overt or covert US operations inside Pakistan.
Such reports are baseless and we reject them."
The New York Times reported on its website late Saturday that under a proposal being discussed in Washington, CIA operatives based in occupied Afghanistan would be able to call on direct military support for "counter-terrorism" operations in neighboring Pakistan.

Citing unnamed senior administration officials, the newspaper said the proposal called for giving Central Intelligence Agency agents broader powers to strike targets in Pakistan.
The United States now has about 50 soldiers in Pakistan, the report said. The new plan was reportedly discussed by Vice President Richard Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and national security aides in the wake of the December 27 assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Pak opposes US operations on its soil

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 14:48:30

US aims to expand anti-Taliban operations in Pakistan.
Pakistan has said it will not allow CIA and the US military to conduct covert operations against al-Qaeda and Taliban on its soil.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry described the recent US report over the expansion of CIA authority in Pakistan as 'speculative', adding that Islamabad will not allow the US forces to operate inside Pakistan's tribal regions, which border Afghanistan, AP reported.

Islamabad's reaction comes after New York Times reported that senior US officials aim to loose reins on the CIA in order to counter the mounting threat of al-Qaeda and Taliban in northwestern Pakistan.

The move has been opposed by some US State Department officials who argue that the US-led military operations in Pakistan near the Afghan border could foment a powerful backlash and thus do more harm than good.


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