'Pak's concern over influx of Afghan militants following US troop surge exaggerated'

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Lahore, Jan. 5 (ANI): The Pakistani fears about a fresh influx of Afghan militants into their territory following the deployment of 30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan are exaggerated, as insurgents in that country already have all the space they need in Helmand, a retired Pakistani general has said.

"I think it's somewhat exaggerated. Why should they come here? They already have all the space they need in Helmand (and other Afghan border provinces), the Washington Post quoted Talat Masood, a retired Pakistani general and security analyst, as saying.

Residents in border areas such as the violence-plagued city of Peshawar worry that a tide of militants could flee Afghanistan to seek targets in Pakistan.

"With a surge in American troops across the border, the militants facing pressure could come to our place, which will destroy peace and stability," said Haji Adam Khan, the top official in Qilla Abdullah, a mountainous Pakistani district that abuts Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.

However, U.S. officials pointed out, when U.S. troops launched a major offensive in Afghanistan's Helmand province last summer, Pakistani officials feared a fresh influx of militants into their territory. But that did not occur.

Pakistani reservations about the U.S. strategy highlight the limits of an American-led war campaign in Afghanistan. Pakistan does not allow U.S. troops to fight on its soil even if Afghan insurgents cross over. (ANI)

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