Pak Army Chief warns US unilateral strikes may prove counter-productive

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Islamabad, Sept 11 : Pakistan Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani has categorically said that no external force is allowed to conduct operations inside Pakistan and that his country's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be defended at all costs.

Kayani said that the US forces should show patience and desist from unilateral strikes on Pakistani soil, else it may prove 'counter-productive'.

He said that the right to conduct military operations against the militants within Pakistan territory lay with the country's security forces. Pakistan Army had conducted successful operations against militants in the past and was presently committed to eliminating them from the affected areas of FATA and Swat, added Kayani.

"The rules of engagement with the coalition forces were well defined and "within that, the right to conduct operations against the militants inside own territory is solely the responsibility of the respective armed forces. There is no question of any agreement or understanding with the coalition forces whereby they are allowed to conduct operations on our side of the border," Kayani said, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

He added: "To succeed, the coalition would be required to display strategic patience and help the other side the way they want it, rather than adopting a unilateral approach which may be counter-productive."

Referring to his meeting with the US Army's senior officials aboard 'USS Abraham Lincoln' on August 27, he said that they were informed about the complexity of the issue that required deeper understanding and more patience for evolving a comprehensive solution, reported the Daily Times.

The Pakistan Army Chief also said that he had elaborated Pakistan's viewpoint in detail and that it was urged that in such situations "military action alone cannot solve the problem. Political reconciliatory effort is required to go along with the military prong to win hearts and minds of the people".

ANI

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