US reduces military presence in Pakistan

US military personnel training Pakistani soldiers at various stations will be reduced, says US military spokesperson.


Zahid Gishkori May 17, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


The US has reduced its military presence in Pakistan after Pakistan’s military establishment decided “there is no need for unnecessary presence of its troops,” according to a senior military official.


US military personnel have been training the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary force in Warsak, Peshawar, Tarbela and Shahbaz Airbase.

“We are in the process of complying with the directions of the General Headquarters (GHQ) that the number of US military personnel training Pakistani soldiers at various stations be reduced,” a US military spokesperson in Islamabad confirmed.

According to a top Pakistani military official, as many as 160 US soldiers had left Pakistan after the Abbottabad operation. However, he did not confirm the number stated by Pakistani officials, saying, “Over 200 US military personnel are still working here.”

Pakistan had formally asked the Pentagon to recall its men soon  after the killing of al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in unilateral American raid in the garrison city of Abbottabad.

The strong stance comes in the aftermath of a resolution passed during a joint session of parliament, which focused on revisiting the country’s policy regarding the war on terror, officials said.

A senior official revealed that the GHQ has written to Colonel Michael Shavers, a senior US official in Islamabad, asking for further reduction in the number of soldiers engaged with Pakistan Air Force (PAF) at various airbases.

Almost four dozen Americans soldiers working at various training stations will be leaving Pakistan by the end of this month, the official said.

According to army officials, the troops that have already left Pakistan include 25 US engineers who were imparting F-16 training to PAF pilots at the Shahbaz Airbase.

The US troops, they said, had accompanied the new fighter jets that the US had provided to Pakistan for training young Pakistani pilots last year. However, they added, no American pilot is stationed at Shahbaz Airbase right now.

Meanwhile, US officials in Islamabad stated that they were in regular contact with Pakistan’s military leadership to enhance cooperation between the two forces rather than simply withdrawing its top officers from Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2011.

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COMMENTS (9)

NA | 10 years ago | Reply Until Pakistan stops begging US aids and stands firm on its own feet, no body will see them as a sovereign country. It wont make any difference now whether US troops will reduce in number or not because those who where there on secret missions should have completed their tasks by now. Incompetent and illiterate Pakistani politicians can only destroy that country and if they don’t change their corrupted behaviors and attitude, consequences will be very worst in very near future. I can just pray for the people of that Country......
NA | 10 years ago | Reply @R S JOHAR: Pakistan is never dependent for spares and training of US equipment including F16s. These F16s were even operational when there was embargo on Pakistan after Atomic test. Pakistan is well advance in operating/ maintaining F16s inhouse.
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