Despite flood, Pak focused on war against terrorism: US

A top US commander says Pakistan remains focused on war against terrorism.

Last Updated: Sep 09, 2010, 12:31 PM IST

Washington: Despite devastating floods that inundated one-fifth of the country, Pakistan has remained focused on war against terrorism, a top US commander said.

"It has taken some of the resources -- some of the aviation resources that would be supporting the operations that are used to rescue people and to help.”

“But as far as number of troops and the focus of the Pakistan military, it has not. It`s not wavered in the west or in the northwest," said Vice Admiral Michael LeFever, who oversees US military assistance in Pakistan.

Commander, Office of the Defence Representative and LeFever was briefing Pentagon reporters from Pakistan through a video conference.

Responding to question about the impact of flood on the actions against extremism, LeFever said the US has not seen many of the Pakistan military forces move out of the areas that they were involved in the west and northwest.

"What they`ve used is other forces from their corps commanders because of the extent of the flood. We are still engaged in security assistance, cooperation and COIN training with the Pak military in addition to the flood relief."

"As they work together on the different operations, they have a campaign plan that they`re adhering to in most areas. The extent of devastation has affected both the military, the people and the insurgents in that area," he said.

"As far as their campaign line, as in anything, I think there`s adjustments that are made based on resources that are available and troops that are available. But they have not withdrawn from any of the areas," LeFever said.

The Commander said Pakistan is continuing the fight to the areas.

"There were insurgents killed out in the Tirah Valley by a helicopter and air strike. So it shows me that they are still very much concerned with the extremists and the operations, and they continue to do that while doing their relief operations," he said.

The floods, which were triggered by torrential monsoon rains in late July, have killed over 1,750 people and affected 20 million in Pakistan.

PTI