Monday, November 17, 2003

Who knew?

Who knew there was still talk of Pakistani troops in Iraq?

Pakistan today said it would not commit its troops to Iraq until the government is sure that the soldiers are "welcomed" in the war-torn country.

"Pakistan can send troops only if they are welcomed by Iraqis and such a decision has to be endorsed by people of Pakistan," Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan told reporters here.

Khan was responding to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's recent comments that America was still hopeful about Pakistan's sending of troops to Iraq.

However, Khan said Pakistan "remained engaged" with United States and Britain on the issue.

"There is no change in our policy," Khan said adding that the recent UN Security Council resolution has fallen short of Pakistan's expectations.

President Pervez Musharraf had agreed in principle to send to two brigades of soldiers to Iraq.

But the deteriorating situation in Iraq coupled with heavy domestic opposition has made Pakistan to withhold its decision.


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