US military won’t enter Pakistan in ‘hot pursuit’, says Pentagon
WASHINGTON (92 News) – The United States has ruled out any ‘plan’ to cross the international border in chasing the Taliban or any other terrorist group who flee Afghanistan (through Pakistan).
Lt Col Mike Andrews, a spokesperson of the Department of Defence, said that to be clear, US military authorities were within the borders of Afghanistan only.
We have no authority to go into Pakistan, adding that if there is a way to get that authority, but that would certainly be the exception and not the norm and would not be, he said.
The spokesman said: “Say, for example, we have troops in contact and then the Taliban militants go across the border. They are clearly inside Pakistan then. There’s no change with regards to respecting the territorial sovereignty of Pakistan.”
He reiterated they would not be going into Pakistan. “Like I said there, there could be exceptions to that, but it is not going to be a normal day to day operational rules of engagement that our commanders on the ground know,” he added.
“If the Taliban reside in Pakistan and we are able to provide safety and support and to help secure districts and provinces within the borders of Afghanistan, I think that that is a tradeoff that we’re willing to make. Because it’s not necessarily about these people over in Pakistan, its about the Afghan people,” Andrews said.
So, looking at the provinces that the Taliban claim or that are contested with the Taliban, that’s going to be the focus of the Afghan forces this year to get them back, he said, adding that there’s enough work to be done inside of Afghanistan to reduce the Taliban’s influence, to reduce their level of control, to provide more security and stability to Afghans.