WASHINGTON, Aug 27: The US State Department said on Monday that the United States has the commitment of both President Pervez Musharraf and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai to take actions against militants hiding in the region.

Tom Casey, deputy spokesman of the department, told a briefing that the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan also had a corrective mechanism for dealing with the consequences of an action that happens outside the ‘approved channels.’

“Everything that we try and do, that our military tries to do there, is done with an effort at close coordination not only with the Afghan government but also with, as appropriate, the government of Pakistan,” Mr Casey said.

On Sunday, US officials in Afghanistan said that their troops had killed 12 Taliban fighters in the tribal zone after the insurgents attacked coalition and Afghan troops in eastern Paktika province.

They said that Pakistan gave permission for this cross-bordering artillery firing. But a Pakistan military spokesman denied any permission was given.

“There was no attack, no firing from our side of the border. And there was no permission asked by them or given by us,” military spokesman Maj-Gen Waheed Arshad said.

In Washington, Mr Casey told reporters: “We understand that we have the commitment from President Musharraf, as well as from President Karzai, to take actions to try and deal with the presence of militants along the border.”

He said that the US and coalition and Nato forces are part of a trilateral coordinating mechanism, which also includes Pakistan and Afghanistan, for dealing with these issues.

“But certainly there are incidents that occur in the course of fighting this war and fighting against the terrorist groups that are there that sometimes raise questions about where incidents took place or what the exact nature of these things were that happened,” he added.

The US officials said that military commanders of all three parties as well as representatives of the three governments had a mechanism also to deal with situations like the one that happened on Sunday.

“They will be discussing this issue and make sure that if there was confusion or was something that happened that was outside of approved channels or planning, that we take corrective action,” he said.

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