Pak won't allow foreign troops inside its territory, says Foreign Minister

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United Nations, July 11 : Amid repeated assertions from the US in the recent past that it had the authority to strike on terrorists in Pakistan without waiting for the green signal from Islamabad, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that his country won't allow its soil to be used against other countries (read Afghanistan) nor would it allow foreign troops to operate inside its territory.

Qureshi reportedly told this to the UN Security Council yesterday.

Pakistan Foreign Minister's statement is also seen as rejection of a standing US offer of military assistance also intended to help Afghanistan. He also said that Pakistan was capable enough to contain terrorism and insurgency on both sides of the border.

"We can assure greater success in containing terrorism and insurgency on both sides of the border through more effective co-operation and matching military measures. This is a joint responsibility," the Daily Times quoted Quereshi as saying as the 15-member Council debated the situation in Afghanistan.

He added: "We are prepared to consider suggestions to enhance the effectiveness of such co-operation."

On the occasion, he also said that Pakistan's partners, especially Afghanistan, could also contribute to enhance operational co-operation by undertaking measures such as expansion in military deployments and checkposts on the Afghan side of the border to match Pakistan's 100,000 military personnel and 1200 checkposts.

"More needed to be done to overcome suspicion and distrust," Qureshi said and added that initial steps could include declaring mutual respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, avoidance of provocative statements and the revival and reinvigoration of the jirga process.

ANI

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