Pakistan criticizes NATO airstrikes

Last Updated: Monday, September 27, 2010 | 2:10 PM ET

The Associated Press

Pakistan is criticizing NATO for launching a pair of deadly airstrikes on its territory, saying the cross-border strikes were a violation of its sovereignty.

As many as 50 militants were killed in the airstrikes, which were launched over the weekend after a group of insurgents attacked an Afghan security post in Khost province.

U.S. officials have said they have an agreement that allows aircraft to cross a few kilometres into Pakistani airspace if they are in hot pursuit of a target, but Pakistan denied Monday that such an agreement exists.

U.S. Capt. Ryan Donald, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, said ISAF “maintains the right to self-defence, and that’s why they crossed the Pakistan border.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, however, said in a statement that the mandate of foreign troops in Afghanistan ends at the Afghan border, and the strikes were a violation of its sovereignty.

Pakistani intelligence officials also said two NATO helicopters carried out a third strike inside Pakistani territory on Monday morning, killing five militants and wounding nine others.

The strike occurred in the village of Mata Sanger in the Kurram tribal area, which is directly across the border from the Afghan provinces of Paktia and Nangarhar, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Donald, the NATO spokesman, said officials were still investigating and could not confirm or deny reports of the attack in Kurram.

U.S. Maj. Michael Johnson, another ISAF spokesman, said 49 militants were killed in the strikes launched over the weekend.

Abdul Hakim Ishaqzie, the provincial police chief in Khost, cited a higher death toll of around 60 militants. He said police at checkpoints at the border came under attack, engaged the militants in a gun battle and then called for help, prompting the helicopter strikes.

ISAF said no civilians were killed in the attack, but that could not be confirmed.

Insurgents routinely launch attacks into Afghanistan from Pakistan, and parts of the border also serve as a transport corridor for fighters, weapons and money.

“It’s viewed as a haven for the Taliban and al-Qaeda — but Pakistan is sensitive nonetheless about combat operations spilling over into its territory,” CBC’s Carolyn Dunn said.

The U.S. rarely uses manned aircraft to carry out strikes in North Waziristan and instead relies on drone attacks that American officials refuse to acknowledge publicly.

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  1. We’ve all read about teh close cooperation between China and Porkistan. But during Gen. Musharraf’s tenure, China revealed Pakistani terror camps – a massive disaster for Musharraf’s cover and a total embarrassment for America. China took out Pakistani President Musharraf’s cover forever. Pakistan all along has been deeply associated with training of the terrorists all around its international borders. China took the wind out of the Pakistani sails by saying that East Turkistan terrorists operating on its soil were actually trained in special camps in neighboring Pakistan. America’s ally Pakistan is now called a terrorist nation by China – Pakistan’s best sponsor of international activities.

    The Taliban is the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) creation. Pakistan’s madrassas are the incubators of muslim terrorists to be sent out to the world to “strike terror” in the hearts of men and make countries (read West) submit to islam.

    In an article: ANALYSIS: Youth and militancy —Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi, it was pointed out

    “Friday sermons in a large number of mosques preach how the West is out to undermine the Muslims and the Islamic world. It is easy to get radical ideological inspiration in Pakistan because Islamic orthodoxy and militancy have seeped deep into Pakistan’s state system and society”

    Pakistan is experiencing the ‘youth bulge’. More than half of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 30, whose socialisation is heavily loaded with Islamic orthodoxy and militancy. Since the early 1980s the state pursued an agenda through education and the mass media to Islamise the state and society. Pakistan’s military and the intelligence agencies continued to patronise a religious hard line and militancy as an instrument of domestic and foreign policy towards Afghanistan and Indian-administered Kashmir.

    An Islamic and politically rightist mindset dominates the youth and post-youth generation in Pakistan. This mindset views Muslims and the Islamic world as victims of international conspiracies by the US and other western countries. They also think that Pakistan’s military action against the Taliban and other militants is not justified and it serves US interests. They strongly believe that there is a persistent international effort led by the US and India to undermine and destroy Pakistan and that Pakistan’s adversaries are not the Taliban. Islamists argue that the suicide attacks in Pakistan are undertaken either by the agents of foreign powers in the garb of the Taliban or, at times, the Taliban retaliate against Pakistan’s alignment with the US, or its military actions in the tribal areas.”

    So, there you are. Britain’s MI5 report that they have 4000 Taliban trained Pakistanis to blow up the isles. And Britain allowed it.
    Will Canada?

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