US military trainers’ have not come back: PakistanMay 31st, 2012 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, May 31 (IANS) Pakistani military Thursday denied claims by American officials that a group of US military trainers have returned to the country several months after their departure following a deadly NATO strike that killed 24 soldiers.
An unnamed US official has been quoted as saying that nearly 10 military trainers are back into Pakistan as a sign of improvement in relationship, reported Xinhua.
The official said that US special operations soldiers have been sent to a training site near the border city of Peshawar, where they will instruct trainers from Pakistan’s Frontier Corps in counter-insurgency warfare.
“The news of returning of US trainers to Pakistan is not correct,” a brief army statement said.
Pakistan had sought withdrawal of US trainers after the NATO fighter jets struck two of its border posts in Mohmand tribal region in November last year.
In an angry reaction to the soldiers’ deaths, Pakistan closed supply routes for US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan.
A strategically important airbase in southwestern Balochistan province was also vacated from the US military personnel, who had used it for years for military operations in Afghanistan and even in Pakistan’s tribal regions.
Pakistan and the US have so far failed to agree on new terms for the reopening of routes for NATO supplies.
Islamabad reportedly demands $5,000 per NATO truck or container as transit fee, a demand rejected by US officials.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said Sunday the US would not be “gouged” by Pakistan on the price it charges for NATO supplies.
Some US lawmakers have described Pakistani demands as extortion, reflecting deep mistrust between the close and strategic allies in the so-called war on terror.
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Tags: airbase, angry reaction, army statement, balochistan, border city, border posts, counter insurgency, deadly nato, defence secretary, fighter jets, leon panetta, military trainers, nato strike, nato troops in afghanistan, operations soldiers, pakistan islamabad, pakistani military, peshawar, troops in afghanistan, xinhua