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200 US military troops present in Pakistan

world Updated: Mar 30, 2010 10:14 IST

Around 200 US military personnel are presently involved in security assistance and training programs in Pakistan, a senior military official from Pentagon said.

"Right now, I have probably about 200 US military in Pakistan that are involved in security assistance and training programs working with the Pakistan military and the Pakistan paramilitary forces of the frontier corps," the official said, adding the Pentagon is more than satisfied with the recent military action against terrorist organisations particularly in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province.

The official said there were probably about 40,000 troops in North Waziristan involved in the process of doing small operations in different areas of the tribal region.

"When the (Pak) forces started attacking into the settled areas of Pakistan within the last two years, they really realised that this is extremists that they had to deal with, as they were taking over the Swat area and the very dramatic attacks inside, Peshawar, Islamabad, Karachi; that was a wake-up call to some extent that they needed to deal with this insurgency," he said.

When asked if the Haqqani and Mullah Omar networks can no longer rely on Pakistan for safe haven, the official said "you are seeing a trend where they are trying to remove the areas that were once unapproachable."

"General Kayani makes a bold statement, this was the first time that any military had really occupied South Waziristan. And their idea is to occupy all the other areas. It will take time, the end state is to be able to oust the safe havens in these particular regions," the official said.

The senior official noted that further such military actions would be seen in Pakistan.

Responding to a question on end-use-monitoring, the official said the process was currently underway.