Kayani rules out 'unacceptable' joint Pak-US op against militants in N. Waziristan
Posted: 12:17a.m. IST, August 18, 2012
Islamabad, Aug 18 (ANI): Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said that a joint action by Islamabad and Washington against militants in the North Waziristan was unacceptable to the people and armed forces of the country.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta recently said that Pakistan had decided to launch a military operation against the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan, but the campaign was not against the Haqqani network.
General Kayani, however, categorically dispelled the speculative reporting in the US media regarding an understanding given to ISAF Commander General John Allen about Pakistan Army's readiness to launch joint operations in North Waziristan Agency (NWA).
Kayani made Pakistan's position on military operations in North Waziristan clear during a meeting last night with General James Mattis, the commander of the US Army's Central Command, the Daily Times reports.
It is important to distinguish between 'coordinated action' and 'joint operation'. 'Coordinated action' implies that Pakistan Army and ISAF conduct operations on respective sides of Pak-Afghan border, Kayani said in a statement.
For such actions, intelligence sharing is the mainstay of mutual cooperation. Contrarily, a 'joint operation' implies that the two forces are physically employed jointly on either side of the border. A 'joint operation' in this sense is unacceptable to the people and armed forces of Pakistan, hence, has always been our clearly stated red line, he said.
According to the paper, Kayani also stressed that Pakistan alone would decide the timing of any offensive in the tribal region according to its military requirements.
We might, if necessary, undertake operations in NWA, in the timeframe of our choosing and determined only by our political and military requirements, he said.
It will never be a result of any outside pressure. Pakistan's national interest continues to be the prime consideration for any decision in this regard, he added. (ANI)