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Pakistan drastically cut down US troops

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, June 10, IRNA -- Pakistan's top military commanders were informed on Thursday that the army has ‘drastically cut down the strength of US troops’ stationed in the country.

Top army commanders were told that the Army had never accepted any training assistance from the US except for training on the newly inducted weapons and some training assistance for the Frontier Corps only.

“Even that has ceased now,” an army statement said after the Corps Commanders’ meeting presided over by the Army Chief, General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani.

The meeting was informed by the Army Chief that military to military relationship with the US has to be viewed within the larger ambit of bilateral relations between the two countries.

The participants were also informed about the extent of intelligence cooperation with the US and it has been decided to share intelligence strictly on the basis of reciprocity and complete transparency.

“It has been clearly put across to US intelligence officials that no intelligence agency can be allowed to carry out independent operation on our soil,” the statement said.

News about military operations in North Waziristan tribal region also came under discussion and the Army Chief informed the participants that the Army was following a well thought out campaign plan and is under no pressure to carry out operations at a particular time.

“Future operations, as and when undertaken, will be with political consensus,” General Kayani said and called upon the people of North Waziristan to evict all foreigners from their soil and take charge of their land and destiny once again.

He emphasized that it was wrong, in principle, to allow others to use Pakistani land for fighting their battles.

“This must not be allowed. The Army in North Waziristan is committed to supporting the people of in this effort”.

About the US drone strikes, he said the Army has repeatedly conveyed to all concerned that these are not acceptable under any circumstances.

While reviewing the internal security situation, the participants voiced their concern on the blowback of the US raid in Abbottabad to kill the al-Qaeda chief which has resulted in the upsurge in terrorism and consequent loss of innocent lives.

“It was concluded that all law enforcement agencies, though trying their best to cope with the situation, need to be more focused and proactive and Army will be there to extend all possible support,” the statement said.



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