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NATO denies planning to conduct operation against militants in Pakistan

12-21-2010 20:54 BJT

KABUL, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Tuesday rejected The New York Times reports that the military alliance commanders are planning to conduct military operations against militants into Pakistani soil, a statement of the alliance released here said.

"There is absolutely no truth to reporting in the New York Times that U.S. forces are planning to conduct ground operations into Pakistan," the statement added.

Nevertheless, it stated, "the ISAF and U.S. Forces, along with their Afghan partners have developed a strong working relationship with the Pakistani military to address shared security issues."

"This coordination recognizes the sovereignty of Afghanistan and Pakistan to pursue insurgents and terrorists operating in their respective border areas. Cross border coordination has and continues to disrupt and dismantle insurgent networks in select areas, with significant operations on both sides of the border removing large numbers of insurgent leaders and fighters," the statement quoted ISAF Deputy Chief of Staff for Communication RADM Gregory Smith as saying.

The U.S. influential daily The New York Times on Monday reported that U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan are pushing for expansion of ground operations across the border into Pakistan 's lawless tribal areas.

The NATO-led troops almost regularly carry out drone attacks against militants hideouts in Pakistan's areas from where the Taliban militants and associated insurgents, according to Afghan officials, often infiltrate into Afghanistan and target security forces.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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