WASHINGTON, March 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President
Barack Obama vowed in a Sunday TV interview not to deploy ground troops in
Pakistan to pursue al-Qaeda militants.
Obama told CBS's "Face the Nation" that he has not
changed his approach to launch missile strikes at militants.
"If we have a high-value target within our sights,
after consulting with Pakistan, we're going after them," he said.
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers
remarks in Washington announcing a comprehensive, new strategy for
Afghanistan and Pakistan March 27, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters
Obama ruled out the possibility that U.S. troops
could be sent in hot pursuit into militant safe havens inside Pakistan, noting
"our plan does not change the recognition of Pakistan as a sovereign
"We need to work with them and through them to deal
with al-Qaeda, but we have to hold them much more accountable," he added.
The interview was taped as the Obama administration
announced anew and comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan on
With a focus to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat"
al-Qaeda terrorists, the strategy demands the United States to provide more
military, economic and diplomatic help to strengthen Pakistan's anti-terror
The new strategy came as the U.S. government is
shifting its focus from the Iraq war to the Afghanistan war, which is considered
as the frontline to fight against terrorists.
On his 18-month troop withdrawal plan, Obama said in
the interview that he would not speed it up since the country still needs U.S.
"No, I think the plan that we put forward in Iraq is
the right one, which is let's have a very gradual withdrawal schedule through
the national elections in Iraq," he said.
"There's still work to be done on the political side,
to resolve differences between the various sectarian groups around issues like
oil, around issues like provincial elections," the president added.
Obama has ordered that all U.S. combat troops be
brought back from Iraq by Aug. 31 next year, but 35,000 to 50,000 troops will
remain behind until the end of 2011.
Some Democratic lawmakers and many anti-war activists
were opposed to the plan and demanded faster withdrawal.
Obama lays out goals, strategies in
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks in Washington announcing a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan March 27, 2009. Standing behind Obama (L-R) are advisor Bruce Riedel, Commander of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, National Security Advisor James Jones, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
WASHINGTON, March 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday announced
a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, including sending
more troops to Afghanistan and providing new funds for Pakistan. Full story
Pakistani president welcomes new U.S. plan for Afghanistan,Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday welcomed the U.S. initiatives for Pakistan to strengthen democracy and provide an aid package to the country.
"Pakistan has always held the Pakistan-U.S. relations in high esteem and his announcements during speech on new strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan will further cement these ties," Zardari said in a statement. Full story