We won't launch strikes in Pak Tribal Areas: US

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Washington, Sep 12: The United States has assured Pakistani officials that it will not launch strikes against Taliban militants operating from Pakistan's tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

Pakistan's Ambassador in Washington Husain Haqqani spent part of his day at the White House meeting National Security and the rest on Capitol Hill trying to assure US lawmakers that his country remained a key partner in this war. "It is our understanding that the kind of authorisation for US military actions in Pakistan (that The New York Times reported) has not been given," said Mr Haqqani after his talks with officials at the White House. "The US respects Pakistan's sovereignty and looks at us as partners," Dawn quoted Haqqani, as saying.

The Pakistan Ambassador noted that last week's US raid into South Waziristan did not bear fruit and did not advance the cause of the war against terror. "The US wants to work in cooperation with us as we intend to do with them."

Haqqani said that officials at the White House and the State Department had assured him that the US had "no aggressive designs or postures" towards Pakistan. "They appreciate the stance of President Zardari, PM Gilani and Army Chief Kayani on this issue," he said.

On the Hill, the ambassador met members of the Armed Services Committee as part of the embassy's efforts to remove "the negative impression created by irresponsible reports in the US and Pakistani media".

Such reports, he said, were also having a negative impact on Pakistan's efforts to get congressional approval for financing F-16 fighter jets Islamabad was buying from Washington.

"Overall, I find a lot of sympathy and understanding for Pakistan both on the Hill and in the administration," he said.

"Media reports about authorisation for US raids into Pakistan are incorrect."

ANI

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