New Pak Government says no to unilateral US operation

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Islamabad, Apr 3 : The new Pakistan Government has maid it clear that it would not allow US forces to operate unilaterally from its soil.

New Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the right of hot pursuit to attack targets within Pakistan couldn't be granted to Washington.

"We cannot allow any other country to take action inside our territory. This is a matter of sovereignty and we cannot compromise on it," Qureshi said.

During a meeting with the military commanders, the new Government reiterated that it would like to pursue dialogue to contain the militancy in the country rather than the US-endorsed military tactics used by President Pervez Musharraf.

The Pakistan Government also maintained that it would look to political engagement with the militants and would simultaneously go for "economic development backed by a credible military element," The Australian reported.

According to a majority of analysts, this represents a major change not just in the war against the al-Qaida and Taliban-linked insurgency in Pakistan, but also in the global war against extremism.

Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani is said to have briefed the government about all aspects of the nuclear-armed nation's security situation and its battle with jihadi militants, according to reports.

Sources close to the meeting said there was "a consensus in both the political leadership and the military top brass that Pakistan will not tolerate any direct action from America or any other state in its territorial limits, and all operations and dealings in troubled areas would be dealt with by the Pakistani authorities."

There was also "unanimity of view that a political solution to the problem of extremism and terrorism in tribal areas would be sought, while the military option would be used as a backup measure and that too would be solely managed by the country's armed forces," the reports said.

ANI

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