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    Pakistan urges responsible US troop exit

    ISLAMABAD (PAN): Pakistan on Thursday hoped US forces would pull out of Afghanistan in a responsible way to ensure security in the region.

    US President Barack Obama announced on Tuesday that 34,000 of the 66,000 American soldiers currently stationed in Afghanistan would in one year’s time.

    “We want the withdrawal, as announced by President Obama in his State of the Union address, to take place in a responsible manner,” a Foreign Office spokesman said.

    Moazzam Ahmed Khan told a regular weekly briefing in Islamabad that Pakistan stoutly supported the ongoing Afghan-led reconciliation drive.

    About the opening of the Taliban’s political office in Doha, the spokesman said Islamabad was not part of that process. He called the move a step in the right direction to achieve peace.

    In response to a query, Khan said Pakistan had released 28 Taliban leaders from its jails so far. More of them would be freed in near future to facilitate the reconciliation effort, he promised.