Islamabad, Pakistan: October 6, 2008 – IR Summary/Agencies - The US Administration has asked Pakistan Govt. to undertake joint military patrols of its border with Afghanistan along with NATO forces and Afghan troops with a view to ending cross-border raids and to fight against Taliban militants collectively and jointly. The US has further sought for the participation of Pakistan in a major winter offensive against the Taliban and al-Qaida militants.
At a recent video news conference at the Pentagon, Gen David McKiernan, top NATO commander in Afghanistan, told journalists in Washington that a joint patrol could end cross-border raids and deny the Taliban militants their safe havens inside Pakistan, Dawn news reported.
“It is a very open, porous border, but the idea of a combined security effort there with Pakistani military, Frontier Corpsmen, Afghan border police with ISAF coordinated along the border I think is a very powerful idea and certainly I would like to pursue that in the future,” he said.
According to diplomatic sources, US officials discussed this idea with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari as well during his recent visit to New York.
Zardari said, “This is not a new idea. It has been discussed with us. We are willing to consider it but no decision yet.”
NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has the majority of foreign troops in Afghanistan, including those from the US and Britain.
Meanwhile, the US media, quoting unnamed Pentagon sources, reported that US commanders in Afghanistan are pushing for a winter offensive against the Taliban in a bid to change the pace and dire