BRUSSELS: Nato will not take part in a proposed US strategy of conducting raids into Pakistan from Afghanistan against Taliban and Al Qaeda militants, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“The Nato policy, that is our mandate, ends at the border,” James Appathurai told a regular news briefing.

“There are no ground or air incursions by Nato forces into Pakistani territory.”

Nato states would discuss the issue, Appathurai said, but he added: “Let me stress, it is not Nato that will be sending its forces across the border.”

The 26 Nato defence ministers will hold an informal meeting on Sept 18-19 in London, but Appathurai said the next opportunity for them to discuss Afghan operations would be at a ministerial meeting in Budapest on Oct 9-10.

The spokesman said a solution needed to be found to growing extremism in tribal areas of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan.

“Pakistan needs to take effective action in cooperation with the rest of the international community and the Afghans to address the problem that is increasingly threatening Pakistan’s stability as well as Afghanistan’s,” he said.

Nato leads a force of some 53,000 troops in Afghanistan. A separate US force is also battling militants in the country.—Reuters

Updated Sep 12, 2008 12:00am

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