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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan plays down U.S general's remarks on operations inside country

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, March 3, IRNA
Pakistan-US Reaction
Pakistan on Saturday played down remarks from senior U.S military officials that American forces in Afghanistan routinely pursue and fire upon Taliban enemies into Pakistan.

Lt general Douglas Lute told the Senate Armed Forces Committee that the U.S forces in Afghanistan have the authorities they need to pursue either with artillery fore or on the ground across the border, according to reports.

"It is not the job of generals to make decisions. The decisions are taken at political level and commanders cannot take decisions," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said.

She told TV channels that remarks from American generals about operations inside Pakistan do not have much importance.

"We are partners in war on terrorism and we have a mechanism to deal with such matters," the spokesperson said.

Tasnim Aslam referred to a recent statement from the U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Washington has not made any decision to carry out any strike inside Pakistan.

The tripartite commission comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States is in place.

A joint intelligence center has been established in Kabul which functions 24 hours, she said.

She was of the view that statements from the U.S generals about operations inside Pakistan do not reflect official policy of the United States.

In another development, members of the US Senate have urged the Bush administration to launch military strikes at alleged Al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan, according to Pakistani Dawn newspaper.

Pakistani envoy in Washington Mehmood Ali Durrani has been quoting as saying that such attitude of U.S generals could bring down the present set-up in Islamabad.

2020/235/1771



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