ISLAMABAD, Jan 9: Pakistan has refuted reports that the arrangement with the United States on the conduct of military operations in Afghanistan to hunt Osama bin Laden is being altered.

“The arrangement with the US forces has been working satisfactorily and there is no need for any change,” an official told Dawn by phone on Tuesday.

An adequate number of Pakistani troops were posted on the western borders and they were patrolling the area effectively, he added.

Gen Tommy Franks in a recent interview with a US-based news agency had stated that the coalition forces had been allowed to pursue Al Qaeda members into Pakistan.

The official said that there had been regular exchange of intelligence between the Pakistan troops on western borders and the US forces. Pakistan authorities had been taking follow-up actions promptly and there had been no slippages, he added.

“Pakistan does not feel that any change is required in the existing arrangement,” he added.

He said that despite an unprecedented build-up of Indian army with a serious threat of war looming large on eastern borders the Pakistan government had maintained troops at the western frontiers, which, he added, was proof of its commitment towards keeping those borders sealed.

He noted that a possibility of Al Qaeda members crossing over was not the only worry for Pakistan but the continuous influx of refugees was also a cause of concern for which borders had been sealed.

He said the repatriation of refugees should have been the natural consequence of the installation of an interim government in Afghanistan but it did not happen. Refugees, he added, were still pouring in because of drought and other economic conditions.

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