Foreign forces in Afghanistan: US officials move to refute reports of cross-border attacks

White House, US State Department and Pentagon back Nato’s stand.

December 23, 2010

The White House has denied that Afghanistan-based US forces are planning to conduct anti-militant ground raids across Pakistani territory as Obama administration officials emphasised the cooperative nature of the relationship with Pakistan.

“I think the best thing to do is to quote the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf),” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, as he supported the statement issued by Nato and Isaf from Kabul.

Resonating the denials, US State Department spokesperson Philip J Crowley said, “I would just caution, do not believe everything you read in the newspaper.

We have a strategic dialogue with Pakistan. As we’ve said here many times, Pakistan has taken considerable action in recent years. No military in the world has suffered more casualties in the fight against terrorism than Pakistan,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told Fox News channel that “there are no plans to conduct any such (cross-border raids) operations.

We have signalled in the past, that we are ready, willing and able to work with the Pakistani military, but they are a sovereign country, and so this is a partnership, and we’ve got to work according to what their interests are as well here,” Morrell said.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2010.


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