US has had "special operator" forces in Pakistan for some time now: Pentagon

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Washington, Dec 22 (ANI): The United States has "special operators" in Pakistan, who guide Pakistani military trainers to better equip their forces in handling "counter terrorism situations", the Pentagon has said.

"We do have some US forces in Pakistan, have had them for some time. But they number fewer than 100," The Nation quoted Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, as telling Fox News in an interview.

"They are special operators who are conducting a train-the-trainer operation where we are training Pakistani military trainers who then in turn will be able to train their forces in terms of being better able to operate in counter terrorism situations," he added.

Referring to a media report about top US commanders in Afghanistan pushing to expand special operations raids across the border into Pakistan's tribal belt to kill or capture militants, Morrell said that there were "no plans as of right now for anything of that sort".

"We have signalled in the past, that we are ready, willing and able to work with the Pakistani military in all manner of ways, but they are a sovereign country, and so this is a partnership, and we've got to work according to what their interests are as well here," the spokesman said.

Morrell also said the Pakistan military was probably best able to go after the threat in their midst, adding, "They recognise it now as an existential threat to their government, as it is to the Afghanistan government, as well as it is potentially to our friends and allies around the world." (ANI)

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