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We'll limit operations in Pak to 90 days: NATO

Source: PTI
November 02, 2005 21:14 IST
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NATO on Wednesday said it will limit its operations in Pakistan's earthquake-hit areas to 90 days amid criticism of the government by political parties for allowing the military organisation to take part in relief operations.

"It has essentially been decided to limit NATO mission to 90 days," Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Air Commodore Andy Walton said.

"It is essentially a short-term mission. We should get these done as quickly as possible," he said.

The Pakistan government has been criticised at home for permitting NATO relief missions.

President Pervez Musharraf has defended the decision, saying NATO, along with the US, provided the capability to lift aid to quake-hit areas that were blocked by landslides.

To a question about reports that an American helicopter was fired upon in PoK during relief operations on Tuesday, Walton said NATO did not have any safety concerns.

He also said NATO does not intend to fly in any way other than to guarantee humanitarian assistance.

"We will not put ourselves at risk in these kind of, we are continuing without stop."

NATO representative in Pakistan Ambassador Maurits Jochems said the organisation is responding to a specific request from the Pakistani government and the military planners have tailored the defence alliance's response to the priorities indicated by it.


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