Thursday, 26 May 2011

U.S.A Reducing Troops In Pakistan

The U.S. military said Wednesday it has begun pulling some American troops out of Pakistan after Islamabad requested a smaller presence, amid tensions over a U.S. raid against Osama bin Laden.

"We were recently (within past 2 weeks) notified in writing that the government of Pakistan wished for the U.S. to reduce its footprint in Pakistan. Accordingly, we have begun those reductions," spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said in an email to reporters.

There are more than 200 U.S. military personnel in Pakistan serving mostly as trainers as part of a long-running effort to counter al-Qaida and Islamist militants.

But the uneasy relationship between Pakistan and the U.S. has come under severe strain following a unilateral raid by U.S. commandos that killed bin Laden on May 2 in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, home to a military academy.

President Barack Obama's administration has stepped up diplomatic efforts to smooth over the crisis sparked by the raid on the al-Qaida leader's compound, while some lawmakers in Congress have called for cutting aid to Islamabad.

Since the bin Laden operation, the U.S. has kept up CIA drone strikes on militant targets in Pakistan's northwest. The bombing raids are deeply unpopular and often draw public criticism from Pakistani officials.