'Afghan-based US military commanders in touch with Pak'

Top US military commanders in Afghanistan have often visited Pakistan to discuss the issue, according to American Special Representative for the two countries, Richard Holbrooke.

"So the military-to-military discussions are helping to harmonise the situation" in the area, he said in Washington yesterday.

The purpose of these consultations, he said, was to alert Islamabad of any movement of militants from Afghanistan into Pakistan, 'Dawn' newspaper reported today.

The paper said Holbrooke cast doubt on the success of Pakistan's Swat valley offensive against the Taliban, saying that it was unclear if the military had defeated the Taliban in the region or simply driven them underground.

"We don't know exactly to what extent the Pakistani army dispersed or destroyed the enemy," he was quoted as saying. "The test of this operation is, of course, when the refugees return. Can they go home? Are they safe? And we're just going to have to wait and see."

Holbrooke said that during his recent trip to Pakistan he wanted to visit Swat as well but the Pakistani military advised him not to do so now, the report said.

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