| GEO Pakistan|
| US not mulling military strikes in Pakistan: Boucher|
| Updated at: 0606 PST, Saturday, March 28, 2009|
WASHINGTON: The United States is trying to put Afghanistan and Pakistan in a better position to fight terrorists, Richard Boucher, Assistant State Secretary for South Asian Affairs, told a press conference on Friday.
He said US is not pondering to extend military strikes in the areas of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan.
Asked about the relationship between U.S. troops withdrawal from Iraq and additional American soldiers being sent to Afghanistan, Boucher said that "our goal is not to move troops from one place to another."
Instead, he said, "Our goal is to make the effort necessary to help Afghanistan and Pakistan to solve problems and put them in the position where they can take care of their own countries."
The 4,000 U.S. troops to be sent to Afghanistan are trainers. Their goals are "to build Afghan forces to where they can take the lead in their own security," said Boucher.
On the effort to fight Taliban and Al-Qaeda activities along Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Boucher said that the United States and its NATO allied troops deployed in Afghanistan are operating within Afghan territories while Pakistanis, a U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism, are operating in their side. "We operate differently on either side of the border."
"We understand that they (Pakistanis) don't want American forces inside Pakistan. We'll respect that, but at the same time we want to make sure we are supporting properly," he noted.