By Syedah Iram Zahra
BEIJING —(October 8, 2010 – M4Relay) The Pakistani government recently stopped trucks carrying supplies for international forces from entering Afghanistan at a major border crossing in reaction to the killings of three Pakistani troops by NATO last week.
The attack which took place at a Pakistani border post near Afghanistan was the second attack in few days.
NATO officials were given a warning to refrain from such attacks but were turned down by NATO. Over the weekend, NATO helicopters fired on targets in Pakistan, claiming to have killed several alleged insurgents they had pursued over the border from Afghanistan. But reports from the area are quite contrary to their claims. Total casualties were said to be thirty and all were civilians with no insurgents amongst them. Islamabad, capital of Pakistan strongly protested against the intrusion into its territory that has already spurred anti-American sentiments among Pakistanis. What happened over the last week was not the first time. A similar act took place in June 2008; a U.S. airstrike killed 11 Pakistani troops and frayed the two nations’ ties. Pakistan said the soldiers died when U.S. aircraft bombed their border post in the Mohammed tribal region.
Pakistani Prime Minister tells NATO to apologize.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Pakistan would not compromise its sovereignty and integrity because of its cooperation in the so-called ‘war on terror’ which, however, ‘is our own war’, but ‘being a sovereign country and a nuclear power we will not do anything irresponsible’. The Prime Minister called on NATO to apologize. David Howell Petraeus a United States Army general who serves as the current Commander for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander of the U.S. Forces in Afghanistan (USFOR-A) expressed regrets on those attacks. A joint investigation into the attacks has been launched.
Pakistan is an ally of war on terror with America and also a good friend. It is feared that the killings, could strain Pakistan-US relations between these two allies. Already, majority of Pakistanis regard the United States as an enemy; with the passage of time even the moderates are turning anti-US and conspiracy theories abound of U.S. troops wanting to attack Pakistan and weaken its weaponry.