Pakistan won’t allow US ground operations


ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Thursday said it would not accept any ground operation by US troops in the Tribal Areas.
“The US knows our red lines on the issue and they will not cross them. Pakistan does not expect the United States to complicate matters involving counter-terrorism,” Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said in his weekly press briefing.
“The NATO and ISAF mandate is restricted to Afghanistan and Pakistan’s security forces are capable of taking action against militants and terrorists. Given this, we would not accept any foreign troops on our soil,” he said while responding to queries on a report by the New York Times that the US administration was close to approving a major expansion of Special Operations ground raids into Pakistan.
Basit said, “Pakistan is cognisant of its security requirements and there will be no compromise on this issue. Pakistan’s military and political leadership is mindful of what is required to ensure security of the country.”
He said Pakistan was committed to fight terrorism and extremism and it had been carrying out operations wherever required. “Our troops are already present in North Waziristan, however, the scope and timing of any operation there would only be determined by Pakistan,” Basit said.
To a question, he said the US had not shared fully its “Afghan Policy Review” with Pakistan, adding that whatever had been shared gave us some comfort that due emphasis would now be placed on the development and reconciliation aspects as well.
“Pakistan has always maintained that use of force alone cannot bring about peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he said.