No U.S. coercion, says military spokesman

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ISLAMABAD The army said on Saturday that no coercion by the United States will work and that there is a need for a trust-based relationship to fight against terrorism.

 

The military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan has done a lot against terrorism and there is “no space for do more demand” from Pakistan, in a reference to the American leaders’ calls on Pakistan to do more in the anti-terror war.

 

The spokesman was speaking at a news conference in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad, in which he spoke about Pakistan-U.S. relationship and rescue of a Canadian hostage, his American wife and three children from a terrorist group.

 

Pakistani forces rescued Canadian national Joshua Boyle, his American wife Caitlan Coleman and their three children from the Kurram tribal region near the Afghan border on Wednesday. U.S. officials say they were kidnapped in Afghanistan by the Haqqani Network, which is linked to the Taliban.

 

The freed couple arrived in Canada on Saturday where they shared some details about their nearly 5-year ordeal in captivity with the media.

 

General Ghafoor disclosed that Pakistan troops were dispatched to rescue the hostages shortly after the U.S. diplomats shared information with the Pakistani security officials that the western hostages will be transferred to Pakistan from Afghanistan.

 

He said Pakistani troops detected two vehicles, carrying the hostages, and stopped them when the security personal fired on tyres of one of the vehicles. He said that three gunmen were taking the hostages and the drivers wanted to take the hostages to a camp of the Afghan refugee in the region.

 

“Security of the hostages was our main concern and the operation was conducted to in a way to rescue the hostages unharmed,” the military spokesman said.

 

He said the successful operation was made possible on the basis of the intelligence provided by the U.S. officials.

 

“We take it (information sharing by the U.S.) as a good start. There would be progress if such cooperation continues,” General Ghafoor said, adding that the U.S. leadership has shown trust in Pakistan after the safe recovery of the hostages.

 

The army spokesman rejected the impression of joint Pak-U.S. operations against the armed groups and said there is no possibility of a joint operation with any country. He, however; said intelligence sharing and trust-based relationship is essential for bilateral cooperation

 

Originally published by NNI

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