Pak rejects report of joint military operations with US

The official rejected a report that had referred to US and Pak considering joint counter-terrorism campaigns.

Islamabad: The Pakistan military on Tuesday said it was not mounting joint operations with the US against Haqqani fighters holed up in the lawless North Waziristan region, and it alone would decide when to conduct campaigns within Pakistani territory.

While rejecting reports about joint counter-terrorism campaigns with the US, a Pakistani military official said "targeted actions" were being undertaken by the Pakistan Army in North Waziristan.

"Coordinated actions on the respective side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, being part of routine, should not be mistaken for joint operations," the military official said.

"When, where and how to carry out operations within our territory is up to Pakistan alone to decide," said the official who declined to be identified.

The official rejected a report in the Wall Street Journal last week that had referred to US and Pakistani officials considering joint counter-terrorism campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan to target the Haqqani network in North Waziristan and Taliban fighters in eastern Afghan provinces.

The official acknowledged that "targeted actions" were being undertaken by the Pakistan Army against militants in North Waziristan as part of a campaign codenamed "Operation Tight Screw".

This operation is an "ongoing process", he said.

"This is being undertaken for some months now to squeeze terrorists and there is no new operation as claimed in the report," the official said.

The Wall Street Journal had reported that the joint operations had been discussed during Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lt Gen Zahir-ul-Islam`s meetings with CIA and US military officials in Washington last week.

The report said Gen John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, too discussed the matter during a meeting with Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Rawalpindi last week.

Under the reported proposal, the US would work with Pakistan to control the Afghan side of the border so militants driven out of Pakistan`s tribal belt could not escape into Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials reportedly asked the US to target Pakistani Taliban operatives who had escaped from Swat Valley to the eastern Afghan provinces of Nuristan and Kunar.


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