US, NATO Attack on Pakistan Affected South Asia’s Geopolitics Over a Week
|All Credits to AFP/Getty Images|
26th November will now no longer be linked with the Mumbai Attacks by the Pakistani terrorists alone. Early in the morning on 26th November 2011, NATO helicopters opened fire on a Pakistani military post on the Afghan border. Pakistan has termed it as an aggression and has denied it was only an accident.
Two NATO helicopters with fighter jets entered Pakistani airspace up to 2.5 KM (1.6 miles) where they opened fire at two military border patrol check posts killing 28 soldiers and wounding 13 another.
US-Afghan Version and Claims
According to US and Afghan officials, militants belonging to Afghan Taliban attacked the Afghan side with firing which made the Afghanistan call for NATO support. Later the government said that the firing came form the Pakistani military base and not from any Talibani militant. The Afghan government called the NATO attack on Pakistani troop as a defensive action (Source: The Wall Street Journal). Military officials of Afghanistan also said that many times terrorists have used empty Pakistani military posts to stage attacks, thus NATO forces might have misjudged this time.
Pakistani Version and Claims
According to Pakistan, the region was much before cleared by Pakistani forces and there were no militant activities for months. Though there is some ambiguity in the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, but that particular post was properly marked and was known to ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) as active Pakistani post.
Major General Athar Abbas, spokesperson of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), said that the attack continued for two hours even after the personnel had informed the command which had in turn informed ISAF. Pakistan to prove their point has also come with a solid evidence in the form of video to show that the raid done by the NATO was not an accident.
Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani said today on 30th Nov, 2011 that the attack on the check posts was not an accident and only an apology was not enough. She further added, ”Pakistan cannot see its soldiers being killed by allied forces anymore. There is an established mechanism between Pakistan and allied forces working in Afghanistan regarding movement on the border but Nato authorities didn’t inform us about their activity before the incident.”. She added that Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace efforts had been accepted by all but not appreciated, highlighting that it was not the first time when NATO crossed the limit.
Major General Ishfaq Nadeem shared the video with several defence analysts and journalist saying ”Four border communication centres had been setup to coordinate operations against militants but Nato and Isaf ( International Security Assistance Force) violated all standard operating procedures (SOPs) on that night.”
In the meantime Pakistani military also said that the NATO forces returned second time to attack the post again.
Outcomes and Results
In a strong reply Pakistan has blocked supply to NATO troops. About 40% of non lethal supply to NATO troops pass through Pakistan. The spokesman for the government of Balochistan, Kamran Asad, said the provincial government had banned the entry of NATO supplies.
The very same day Pakistan had ordered NATO to vacate the Shamsi airbase, from where US launches drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, giving an ultimatum of 15 days.
Pakistani government said the time has come to review its relation with US and to sort out whether US is really an ally or not.
In a protest Pakistan has decided to boycott a vital international conference on the future of Afghanistan next week to be held in Bonn, Germany.
In several public and private gathering across the nation, people raised slogans against US and burned US flags.
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