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US Not Allowed to Conduct Ops Inside Pakistan: Kayani

The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country would be defended at all costs and 'no external force is allowed to conduct operations inside Pakistan',

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September 11, 2008 (FPRC) -- The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country would be defended at all costs and 'no external force is allowed to conduct operations inside Pakistan', Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Kayani said on Wednesday.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Gen Kayani said that the rules of engagement with the coalition forces were well defined and 'within that, the right to conduct operations against the militants inside own territory is solely the responsibility of the respective armed forces'. The ISPR quoted Gen Kayani as saying, 'There is no question of any agreement or understanding with the coalition forces whereby they are allowed to conduct operations on our side of the border.'

Referring to his meeting with the United States Armyís senior officials aboard USS Abraham Lincoln on August 27, he said that they were informed about the complexity of the issue that required deeper understanding and more patience for evolving a comprehensive solution.

The army chief said he had elaborated Pakistanís viewpoint in detail and it was urged that in such situations 'military action alone cannot solve the problem. Political reconciliatory effort is required to go along with the military prong to win hearts and minds of the people'.

The ISPR said US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen acknowledged the better understanding of ground realities explained by the COAS, and remarked: 'He (the COAS) is committed to doing what is best for Pakistan and he is going to stay the same. He reiterated that ultimately it is our national interest which would always guide our policy.'

Commitment: Gen Kayani said that Pakistan Army had conducted successful operations against militants in the past and was presently committed to eliminating them from the affected areas of FATA and Swat, according to the ISPR.

The COAS said, 'The constraints of operating in these areas must never be lost sight of. Falling for short-term gains while ignoring our long-term interest is not the right way forward. To succeed, the coalition would be required to display strategic patience and help the other side the way they want it, rather than adopting a unilateral approach which may be counter-productive.'


Send an email to Sajjad Haider of http://www.hipakistan
877 327-7260



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