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Thursday, 25 April, 2002, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
US forces 'not active' on Pakistani soil
American soldiers at Bagram air base
US not allowed to mount combat missions in Pakistan
Pakistan has denied reports that US special forces or military advisers were hunting Taleban and al-Qaeda fighters in sensitive tribal areas.


This is not true, there is no new development

Pakistan foreign ministry official

The statement followed a report in the Washington Post on Thursday which said that covert US military units using aerial support and four Pakistani bases were working along the Pakistani frontier in recent weeks.

The paper said Islamabad had asked Washington to keep the mission a secret.

Denying the report a Pakistan foreign ministry official told AFP news agency, "we agreed to intelligence sharing with the US authorities but that does not mean Pakistani agencies would operate under the guidance of any foreign advisers".

Deal

Another American daily, the New York Times, on Wednesday said Washington had reached an agreement with Islamabad to send US advisers into tribal areas with Pakistani troops.

A US soldier talks on radio as another looks on
Pakistan denies joint combat operations

It said the deal followed the arrest of a senior al-Qaeda leader, Abu Zubaydah, during a raid in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad last month.

It said several documents were also seized during the raid which indicated that Taleban and al-Qaeda fighters were regrouping in the tribal areas along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

However, the Pakistani spokesman said there had been no operations involving foreign personnel on Pakistani soil.

"There is no operation going on anywhere in which foreign officials would be advising Pakistanis", he said.

Islamabad has offered its full support to the US-led war in Afghanistan, but has refused to allow foreign troops to launch combat operations from its territory.

See also:

03 Apr 02 | Americas
'Key' al-Qaeda recruiter captured
18 Dec 01 | South Asia
US names al-Qaeda 'most wanted'
02 Apr 02 | South Asia
Profile: Abu Zubaydah
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