Islamabad, Sep.18 (ANI): Amid reports of a massive expansion of the US’ Islamabad embassy, Pakistan has said that it would never allow the American troops to carry out military operations from its soil.
Addressing a weekly briefing Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said Islamabad would not allow the US to cross the ‘red line’ under any circumstance.
“We would not allow, under any circumstances, operations by US forces inside Pakistan. We have conveyed this several times to our US interlocutors and this is one of our red lines,” Basit said.
Referring to US Chief of Army Staff Admiral Mike Mullen’s statement that Pakistan is facing a threat both from the east and the west, Basit said Mullen’s comments were true in the sense that Pakistan ‘has issues with India and is simultaneously battling terrorism on the western border.’
Commenting on the Obama Administration’s decision to maintain the long standing accountability measures over the aid being provided to Pakistan, he said Islamabad also supports ‘transparency and accountability at every stage’, but asked the US to reduce the administrative cost of the proposed assistance.
“What we have been saying is that we would like to reduce the administrative cost … so that it is cost-effective and maximum benefits reach the people of Pakistan,” The Daily Times quoted Basit, as saying.
When asked about the US Ambassador Anne Patterson’s claims that America has so far provided three billion dollars as aid to Pakistan, he said: “I would refer you to the Finance Ministry, since it is better placed to answer this question.”
He also refused comment on a report that claimed the Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani had leaked classified information to an Indian media house.
“As you used the word ‘reportedly’, it will not be appropriate for me to comment in public on such official matters,” Basit said. (ANI)