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US forces will not cross red line drawn by Pakistan: Holbrooke

Friday, June 5, 2009 Leave a Comment

US Special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke has said that US forces not crossed the red line (limitations) established by the security forces of Pakistan.

While address a press conference here at US Embassy on Friday evening Richard Holbrooke who is on three day official visit to Pakistan, told journalists that US respected red lines set up by Pakistan. He said that to secure the border is the responsibility of Pakistan and US forces will not enter in Pakistan’s territory.

He said that he came to assess refugees’ crisis in Pakistan and to review the provision of aid to Pakistan to help tackle IDPs’ crisis effectively.

He said that he had visited IDPs camps and witnessed the relief activities and available resources for the IDPs. He said that US has always assisted Pakistan and a bill for additional aid of $200 million has been tabled by US administration for Pakistan.

He said that four Pakistan-American doctors were already utilizing their services for IDPs in Peshawar while 10-15 more doctors will arrive Pakistan very soon to provide state-of-the-art medical facilities to IDPs.

He said that none of the country across the world is taking IDPs issue seriously. He said that the World would be called upon to help Pakistan in this critical time.

Richard Holbrooke said that neither the Pakistani leadership nor civil society raised the issue of drone attacks.

Holbrooke said that the issue of rehabilitation of the IDPs was a sensitive issue and no special fund has been allocated so far in this connection. He said that according to UNHCR statistics, US $1-5 billion would be needed for rehabilitation process. “The role of international community will be pivotal in the return of the IDPs to their respective homes,” he added.

He also termed his meetings with COAS, Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and DG ISI, Gen. Pasha , fruitful and productive.

While talking about the presence of Bait Ullah Mehsud in Waziristan and possible army operation he said that Pakistan army understand much to devise strategy and fix time or keep it secret.
While replying to a question he said that deployment of 17000 US troops in Afghanistan would not affect Pakistan at all; rather it would expedite operation against the militants. He said that US want to protect Pak-Afghan border and avoid spell over effects. “We will keep Pakistan aware about Operation in Afghanistan,” he added.

While replying to another question he said that Militants in Pakistan were using captured weapons from the international forces. “No doubt, they are also getting financial assistance from some Middle East countries, “ he added.

He said that he was not Special envoy for India but role of India can’t be undermined in the durable peace in the region. Therefore, USA was further strengthening its existing ties with India.