WASHINGTON: US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said that United States is prepared to conduct joint operation with Pakistan Army to combat terrorism but it will not conduct operation against insurgents inside Pakistan without the country’s permission. Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, he said that Pakistan is an independent and sovereign country and it has every right weather to allow the activities of foreign troops on its soil or not.
Gates said he was not aware that Pakistan has requested additional US military assistance but said it was part of an ongoing dialogue. He said, “They clearly have the right to decide whether or not forces from another country are going to operate on their soil.”
He said that United States is prepared to send its troops to Pakistan to conduct operation against terrorists. However this step will not be taken without the will of the government of Pakistan, he said. Pakistan has clearly the right to decide whether or not forces from another country are going to operate on their soil, he said. “We will continue the dialogue. But we would not do anything without their approval,” he added.-SANA