ISLAMABAD (Reuters) Army is playing the leading role in rescue efforts after the worst floods in decades, but it will not divert forces from the battle against militants, military officials said on Friday. The floods, the countrys most severe natural disaster, began two weeks ago and have killed more than 1,600 people, forced 2 million from their homes and disrupting the lives of about 14 million people, or 8 percent of the population. The army has deployed about 60,000 troops for rescue and relief operations out of a force of about 550,000 soldiers. Soldiers in helicopters and boats have plucked numerous survivors from the water that has inundated the Indus river basin. Army engineers are rebuilding broken bridges and washed-out roads while other units have set up relief camps. But there has been worry, especially in the United States, that the Pakistani military would have to withdraw some of its 140,000 soldiers fighting militants in the northwest, along the Afghan border, to help with the floods. But the military played down that worry. The involvement of our troops in relief activities will have no impact on our fight against militants, said military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas. We were mindful of this factor when we carried out deployment for relief activities and I dont think there will be any need to withdraw troops from the western border, he said. The mountainous northwestern has been largely spared the worst of the floods and most troops involved in relief work were from units in the flood areas, said a senior security official. We have not withdrawn any troops from the western border and we hope we will not need to do so, said the official, who declined to be identified. There has been an impact on our training activities as most troops involved in relief efforts were undergoing training, but our activities, operations as well as deployment along the border with Afghanistan have not been affected at all, he said.