View Full Version : Pakistan Tells U.S. To Respect Borders In Terror War

07-20-2005, 12:56 PM
Pakistan tells US to respect borders in terror war


Wed Jul 20, 2005 7:46 AM BST

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has assured the United States of unwavering support in the war on terrorism, but said he would not tolerate violation of the country's borders by U.S. forces, newspapers said.

Musharraf met U.S. Central Command chief General John Abizaid on Tuesday after strikes by Afghanistan-based U.S. forces killed 24 suspected militants in a Pakistani tribal region bordering Afghanistan last week.

The strikes prompted anti-U.S. protests by pro-militant tribesmen in North Waziristan, just inside the Pakistan border, during funerals for some of the dead on Saturday.

Wednesday editions of Pakistani newspapers quoted Musharraf as telling Abizaid during a meeting in the garrison city of Rawalpindi that Pakistani forces were doing everything they could to purge the country of terrorists.

"Now we want our borders to be respected in the war on terrorism and will not put up with future border breaches," the Daily Times quoted Musharraf as saying.

There was no comment from the Pakistan government on the newspaper reports.

The U.S.-led raids followed a warning by a U.S. official that forces on both sides of the border needed to squeeze the frontier region where al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden might be hiding.

U.S. and Afghan officials have long complained that, despite Pakistan's status as a key ally in the war on terrorism, Taliban and allied militants have been able to launch attacks in Afghanistan from Pakistan and escape back there.

Musharraf asked for more technical support from the United States for Pakistan's intelligence and law enforcement agencies to help them free the rugged border region of the al Qaeda and Taliban militants, the Daily Times said.

Musharraf also sought greater military assistance from Washington to maintain a regional balance of power -- a reference to the growing military strength of Pakistan's neighbour and nuclear-armed rival, India.

Afghan and Pakistani military officials have said that more than 60 militants were killed in the border region between Thursday and Sunday. They included 24 killed by U.S. fire into North Waziristan.

The border attacks have come amid a broad crackdown on militants in Pakistan launched after the July 7 bombings in London, which involved bombers of Pakistani descent.