US to expand its military presence in Pak

December 26th, 2007 - 10:16 pm ICT by admin  

Pervez Musharraf

Washington, Dec 26 (ANI): The United Stated is planning to send its Special Forces to Pakistan that will train and support indigenous counter-insurgency forces and clandestine counter terrorism units, US defence officials have revealed.

These Pakistan-centric operations may mark a shift for the US military and for the Washington-Islamabad relations, a report in the Washington Post stated.

After the 9/11 terror attacks, the US had used Pakistani bases to launch its movements into Afghanistan.

After the US troops succeeded in overthrowing the Taliban Government and established its main operating base at Bagram, it left Pakistan almost entirely. After that the Pakistan Government has put a ceiling on the USs involvement in cross-border military operations and paramilitary operations in the country.

The daily pointed out that the inability of Pakistani forces to control its border of the frontier areas has been irritating the Pentagon. The persisting instability in Pakistan has also heightened the Bush Administrations concern about Islamic extremists there.

According to Pentagon sources, having a different agreement with Pakistan is now a priority for the new head of the US Special Operations Command, Admiral Eric T Olson, who visited Pakistan in August, November and December.

In December, Olson met Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, Pakistani Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Tariq Majid and Lt. General Muhammad Masood Aslam, commander of the military and paramilitary troops in northwest Pakistan. He also paid a visit to the headquarters of the Frontier Corps, a separate paramilitary force recruited from Pakistan’s border tribes.

The first U.S. personnel may reach Pakistan by early next year, according to Pentagon sources.

In an interview with Voice of America, US Central Command Commander Admiral William Fallon gave an indirect reference to the agreement.

“What we’ve seen in the last several months is more of a willingness to use their regular army units,” along the Afghan border, Fallon had said.

“And this is where, I think, we can help a lot from the US in providing the kind of training and assistance and mentoring based on our experience with insurgencies recently and with the terrorist problem in Iraq and Afghanistan, I think we share a lot with them, and we’ll look forward to doing that, he added. (ANI)

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