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US has no intention to send troops to Pakistan: Obama

June 20, 2009 13:18 IST

US President Barack Obama said that his administration has no intention to send American troops to Pakistan amid growing speculation that Washington could be preparing to help Islamabad as its army steps up the offensive against the Taliban militants in therestive tribal areas.

Obama said US has no intention to send troops to Pakistan and it is for Islamabad and the Pakistan military to deal with the situation in the country. "Well, again, we don't comment on specific operations. I will tell you that we have no intention of sending US troops into Pakistan," Obama told the Dawn TV of Pakistan in an interview, when asked if the US would send its troops to Pakistan if it had specific information about the presence of Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan. "We simply want to make sure that our common enemies, which are extremists who would kill innocent civilians, that that kind of activity is stopped, and we believe that it has to be stopped whether it's in the United States or in Pakistan or anywhere in the world," he said.

The US President said the support provided to Pakistan is focused primarily on the internally displaced persons, who have been uprooted from their homes due to military operations in the restive northern areas.
"The support that we have provided right now is focused primarily on the internally displaced persons that are resulting from some of these operations, and we have helped to mobilize international support to provide food and shelter and clothing for those who've been displaced," Obama said.

"We want to be helpful in the context of the international community to make sure that those persons are able to get back into their homes in a secure way as soon aspossible," he said. The primary goal of his administration, Obama said is to be a partner and a friend to Pakistan and to allow Pakistan to thrive on its own terms, respecting its own traditions, respecting its own culture.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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