War on terror: Pakistan did not agree to new US rules of engagement

September 13th, 2008 - 1:55 pm ICT by ANI  


Lahore , Sep 13 (ANI): New rules of engagement authorising United States ground attacks inside Pakistan , signed by President George W Bush in July, were not agreed to by Islamabad , American and Pakistani officials have said.

Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani was informed last month by senior US defence officials that if Pakistan failed to stem the flow of Taliban and other terrorist fighters into Afghanistan , the US would adopt a new strategy one allowing ground strikes on targeted insurgent encampments.

The Washington Post quoted a senior Pakistani official as saying that General Kayani believed the strategy was still under discussion and that Pakistan s counterinsurgency performance was improving.

A senior European official said NATO allies were unaware if the new US rules had been approved.

The official called the implementation of the new strategy peculiar, since its timing coincided with this weeks inauguration of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Previous military rules of engagement, agreed to by Pakistan , allowed US forces to travel up to six miles across the border if they were in hot pursuit of fighters chased from inside Afghanistan .

Meanwhile, the United States continues to refuse to talk about US military actions inside FATA with the White House saying that it does not want to comment on rules of engagement with the enemy.

But unnamed Pentagon officials, in interviews to CNN, BBC, Fox News and other channels, confirmed that President Bush had authorised cross-border operations, involving both drones and ground troops, inside Pakistan .

And a former Pentagon expert on Afghanistan , Col David Hunt, told Fox News that a particular unit of the US Marine Corps Special Operations called Detachment One conducted last Wednesdays ground attack in South Waziristan that killed 20 people, including militants and civilians.

Also on Friday, yet another US missile attack was carried out, this time in North Waziristan . (ANI)

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