US reduces military presence in Pakistan

Published: May 17, 2011
US military personnel training Pakistani soldiers at various stations will be reduced, says US military spokesperson. PHOTO: FILE

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


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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Reader Comments (9)

  • ashwin
    May 17, 2011 - 11:10AM

    i think one must cross check the Number of Americans Mil men in Pakistan, how long they have been here.what kind skills do these mil men posses or specialize in?
    Given History and Ambitions of Pakistan Mil, i am guessing their is a rotation of American Mil men, they are not leaving.Kerry says Pak and America are strategic allies , the Pak parliament says it will stop Nato supply through pakistan if their is another drone strike.Lo behold Kerry comes to pakistan and on his way back America, American drones bomb pakistan territory and the Helo’s fire on the Pakistan Border Guards of the Pakistan Army.

  • Hasan
    May 17, 2011 - 11:35AM

    When the US starts to reduce its military presence in Pakistan, we should start to worry!Recommend

  • May 17, 2011 - 12:27PM

    These guys were just the trainers who were here to train Pakistani Special Forces, no big deal.

    The real deal is to clear Pakistan from the Black Water and Raymond Davis type pplRecommend

    May 17, 2011 - 12:31PM

    Incase, 25 US engineers imparting F-16 training to PAF technical branch officers and air-men had left pre-maturely, shows US’s intent to hurt Pakistan. Pakistan is also dependent on US for spares of these jets and other major equipments of US’s origin in its armoury therefore, any delay or stoppage of the same will jeopardise performance in event of war. Recommend

  • Shafique
    May 17, 2011 - 12:33PM

    around 2000 american marines were once seen landing to help poor pakistani flood victims and they were never seen again :)

    i think the number known is going to reduce and the number unknown is going to increase… thats what ghq ordered =) Recommend

  • Zulfiqar Haider
    May 17, 2011 - 12:37PM

    @Hasan: there is nothing to worry about. This alliance will continue and hopefully will yield much better results this time. Recommend

  • NA
    May 17, 2011 - 1:49PM

    Raymond Davis and OBL saga revealed US intentions to both Army and Political Govt. There is no significant change of policy is expected by Political Govt due to lack of competency and will, however, it seems Army/ ISI started evaluating their strategies to deal with US. Recent capturing of some of foreigners at restricted locations is the sign of better surveillance of foreigners. Now US would have difficulties in operating freely inside Pakistan.Recommend

  • NA
    May 17, 2011 - 1:56PM

    @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.Recommend

  • NA
    May 17, 2011 - 9:00PM

    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…… Recommend

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