NATO has denied media reports about build-up of hundreds of its troops in Afghanistan for eventual incursion into Pakistani territory to fight Taliban insurgents, EuAsiaNews reported on Thursday.
Nato spokesman James Appathurai said on Wednesday that the reports published in Indian and Pakistani media were “inaccurate”.
“There is not, nor is there going to be an incursion of Nato troops into Pakistan. There is no planning for that and there is no mandate for that and there is no troop movement in that direction,” he said.
“Let me be very clear to the Indian press, the Pakistani press, the international press that there is no planning for, intention for incursion of Nato troops into Pakistan,” Appathurai said at his weekly press briefing. Nato has some 50,000 troops under its ISAF mission in Afghanistan.
Appathurai said that ISAF troops in Afghanistan have the right to fire back in self-defence into Pakistan if they are fired on from Pakistan.
Meanwhile in Washington, defence secretary Robert Gates said Pentagon planners were examining if they could get more resources to Afghanistan after requests from commanders there for help.
“We are clearly working very hard to see if there are opportunities to send additional forces sooner rather than later,” Gates said.