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Pak Army ready to address US concerns on Haqqanis: Report

world Updated: Oct 08, 2011 13:52 IST
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The Pakistani Army is ready to address US concerns on the Haqqani network but has no intention of going after the militants in North Waziristan tribal region where the Taliban faction has its headquarters, according to a media report on Saturday.

At a meeting chaired by army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Rawalpindi on Friday, Pakistan's top army commanders expressed their willingness to lower tensions with the US by narrowing down differences on the Haqqani network, The Express Tribune newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

"Pakistan wants a constructive engagement with the US to deal with the Haqqani issue," an unnamed official familiar with the development said.

The official ruled out the possibility of a military operation in North Waziristan Agency.

"Use of force is not the answer to every problem," the official said, repeating a recent statement by Kayani.

Addressing troops participating in a Pakistan-Saudi Arabia joint military exercise in Mangla on Thursday, Kayani reportedly said military operations were not the ideal way of dealing with every issue.

His remarks are being seen as Pakistan's hardening stance on the conducting an operation in North Waziristan despite mounting US pressure.

It is unclear what exactly Pakistan is offering to the US as an alternative to a military operation to deal with the Haqqanis, the report said.

An unnamed senior military official referred to the foreign ministry's last news briefing in which the spokesperson said Pakistan's policy was guided by its national interests.

"We have our own national interests... We have certain red lines and we are very clear that we won't compromise on them," the official said.

The army's corps commanders on Friday discussed the implications of the strategic partnership agreement signed by Afghanistan and India this week.

The commanders voiced concern at allegations by senior Afghan officials that the Inter-Services Intelligence agency was involved in the assassination of former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani.

A brief statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations after the meeting only said Friday's meeting was part of "regular monthly meetings".

The meeting took a comprehensive overview of "routine professional matters aimed at enhancing proficiency of the army", it said.

In a separate development, US ambassador Cameron Munter met foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Friday.

A brief statement issued from the Foreign Office said: "Bilateral relations and the regional situation were discussed.

Both agreed to work together for strengthening bilateral cooperation and for coordination on regional issues."