Pakistan will not allow foreign military operation on its soil

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Islamabad, Apr 2 (UNI) Pakistan today once again made it clear that it will not allow foreign forces to take action against militants on its territory.

''The border extends over two thousand kilometers and any statement signalling foreign operation on Pakistani soil does not help trace alleged hide-outs of militants,'' Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq said at the weekly news briefing in Islamabad.

He was commenting on American CIA chief's statement regarding presence of Al-Qaeda on Pakistan-Afghan border.

Mr Sadiq said there is a clear understanding for operations along the border. ''Pakistan's security forces are exclusively responsible for action on our side of the border while ISAF, NATO and Afghan National Army are responsible for action on the other side.'' He said terrorists have threatened Pakistan and ''targeted our people. We are, therefore, combating terrorism in our own interest,'' he added.

The spokesman, however, cautioned that Pakistan did not want its efforts to be undermined by any ill-conceived action from any quarter that was inconsistent with the principles of international law and would be deeply resented in the tribal areas and generally in Pakistan.

''Such action will be irresponsible and dangerous'', he warned.

He said Pakistan and the United States were partners in the international campaign against terrorism.

It would be counter-productive to create an impression of any divergences or differences on the issue of counter-terrorism or take any step detrimental to our counter-terrorism cooperation, he added.

The spokesman emphasised that a comprehensive strategy, including political and socio-economic development components, was essential for success in the counter-terrorism endeavour.

Mr Sadiq said Pakistan and the coalition have effective information and intelligence sharing and Islamabad would take action if any actionable intelligence was provided.

He said the basis of our cooperation was well-defined and well-understood.'' It was important to focus on effective cooperation and coordination rather than talk of actions that would further complicate our ongoing efforts to fight Al-Qaeda and other terrorist elements,'' he added.

UNI XC RJ RP KN1731

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