Pak for conditional intelligence exchange with US

Pakistan`s Army chief has laid down conditions for intelligence sharing with US.

Islamabad: In sign of changing dynamics
of US-Pak military ties post-Osama bin Laden, Pakistan`s
powerful Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has laid down
conditions for intelligence sharing with the Americans.

He also brushed aside possibility of a full scale
military operation in North Waziristan at this stage under
pressure from the US.

A meeting of the Pakistan Army`s Corps Commanders
chaired by army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani yesterday
decided to share intelligence with the US "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," said an unusually
detailed statement issued by the military after the meeting of
the army`s top commanders yesterday.

Kayani informed his commanders that military to
military relationship with the US has to be viewed within the
larger ambit of bilateral relations between the two countries.

It had to be assessed afresh in the backdrop of May 2
incident (when unilateral raid by US killed bin Laden) as well
as the dictates of the Joint Parliamentary Resolution passed
on May 14, the statement said adding aspirations of the people
of Pakistan also need to be taken into account.

"In line with the demands of these important factors,
Army has drastically cut down the strength of US troops
stationed in Pakistan.

It needs to be clarified that 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," it said.

Talking about the reports of looming military
operation in North Waziristan under pressure from the US, the
statement said, "COAS (Kayani) 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

"Future operations, as and when undertaken, will be
with political consensus."

But the statement hinted at a possible change of
tactics for dealing with the North Waziristan problem.

Kayani called upon the "people of NWA (North
Waziristan Agency) to evict all foreigners from their soil and
take charge of their land and destiny once again.

"He emphasised that it was wrong, in principle, to
allow others to use our land for fighting their battles. This
must not be allowed. Army in NWA is committed to supporting
the people of NWA in this effort."

With Kayani calling on tribesmen to evict foreigners,
it appeared that he wanted to utilise the services of loyal
tribes to force the foreigners out instead of pitting the army
against the militants, the influential Dawn daily said today.

"He emphasised that it was wrong, in principle, to
allow others to use our land for fighting their battles. This
must not be allowed," it said.

North Wazirstan is home to many terror groups
including the deadly Taliban and the Haqani network. On
numerous occasions, US has stressed on the need to flush out
the militants from this area. However, Pakistan has been
hesitant as some of the groups have ties to the Army.

Meanwhile, Kayani also said economic rather than
military aid was more essential for Pakistan.

"In line with the position taken in Pak-US strategic
dialogue in Mar 2010, it is being recommended to the
Government that the US funds meant for military assistance to
Army, be diverted towards economic aid to Pakistan which can
be used for reducing the burden on the common man," the
statement said.

It also said the participants noted with regret that
despite briefing the Joint Session of the Parliament and
deferring the ultimate findings to the Commission appointed by
the Government over the May 2 Abbottabad incident, "some
quarters, because of their perceptual biases, were trying to
deliberately run down the Armed Forces and Army in

It said this is an effort to drive a wedge between the
Army, different organs of the State and more seriously, the
people of Pakistan.

"COAS noted that in order to confront the present
challenges, it is critical to stand united as a Nation. Any
effort to create divisions between important institutions of
the Country is not in our national interest. The participants
agreed that all of us should take cognisance of this
unfortunate trend and put an end to it," the statement said.


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