Islamabad, Sept 17 : The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the public relations wing of the Pakistan army, has said that giving orders to its troops to hit back at US drones was not a recent change in its policy of defending its territory against foreign incursions.
ISPR chief Maj Gen Athar Abbas said that to defend the country and its people against any foreign aggression was the "stated policy" of the Pakistan Army.
"There has been no recent change in the army's policy after cross-border incursions by US-led forces. We reserve the right to defend our people in case of any offensive or cross-border incursion and we reserve the right to respond," the Daily Times quoted Abbas as saying.
Referring to his interview with a foreign agency in which he was quoted as saying that the army had given new instructions to its field commanders to deal with US troops trespassing into Pakistan, he said it was reported "out of context", and that there had been no recent change in the policy.
In the interview Athar was quoted as saying that Pakistan's military, after the September 3 Angoor Ada ground assault by US troops, had ordered its troops to open fire if the US troops launched another raid inside Pakistan. At least 15 people were killed when the US troops launched the ground assault in the area.
"No new orders" had been issued to the army's field commanders, Athar clarified, and added: "The orders are clear. In case it happens again in this form, that there is a very significant detection, which is very definite, no ambiguity, across the border, on ground or in the air: open fire."