US reduces number of military personnel in Pak

Pakistani Army said the strength of American military personnel in the country should be reduced to the "minimum essential.

Islamabad: The US has reduced the number
of its military personnel in Pakistan following a request from
Islamabad, reflecting the continuing tensions between the two
countries in the wake of the American raid that killed Osama
bin Laden last month.

"We recently received a written request from the
government of Pakistan to reduce the number of US military
personnel here, and we have nearly completed that reduction,"
said Vice Admiral Michael LeFever, chief of the Office of the
Defence Representative Pakistan.

"We`ve been honoured to partner with the Pakistan
military and we believe our service members here provide
excellent support to Pakistan`s military in the fight against
violent extremists," LeFever said in a statement issued by the
US Embassy.

The statement did not give the actual of US military
personnel who had been pulled out of Pakistan.
Recent reports have said that they included American
trainers who had been working with Pakistani paramilitary
organisations like the Frontier Corps.

The US Embassy statement said American US military
personnel in Pakistan include trainers who work with Pakistani
security forces.

"The total number of US military forces in Pakistan
is determined at the request of and in conjunction with the
government and military of Pakistan," it said.

"When the government of Pakistan requests
assistance, the US remains ready to help with the security
requirements of Pakistan," said LeFever.

Three days after the May 2 raid by US Navy Seals
that killed bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad, the
Pakistani Army said the strength of American military
personnel in the country should be reduced to the "minimum

Another meeting of the army`s Corps Commanders held
yesterday decided to "drastically cut down the strength of
US troops stationed in Pakistan".

US assistance for training on newly inducted weapons
and for the Frontier Corps "has ceased now", the military
said. The army also decided to share intelligence with
the US "strictly on the basis of reciprocity and complete

The military said it had informed US intelligence
officials that "no intelligence agency can be allowed to
carry out independent operation on our soil."


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