News / Asia

Pakistan Orders US Out of Airbase

Protesters, who are demonstrating against a NATO cross-border attack, burn an effigy representing the U.S. in Karachi, November 27, 2011.
Protesters, who are demonstrating against a NATO cross-border attack, burn an effigy representing the U.S. in Karachi, November 27, 2011.

Pakistan has ordered the United States to move out of an airbase on its territory, after shutting down NATO's two main overland supply routes into Afghanistan.  Popular anger is mounting in Pakistan after NATO's killing of 24 Pakistani military personnel in a cross-border airstrike Saturday.

American forces have been given 15 days to vacate the Shamsi airbase in southwestern Pakistan, where the U.S. sometimes lands unmanned drone aircraft used to attack militants on Pakistani territory.

Pakistan ordered the departure a day after choking off the two main land routes for moving nonlethal supplies to U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says Saturday's killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers by U.S. aircraft was a “tragic unintended accident.”  He has told Pakistan's prime minister the attack was as “unacceptable and deplorable as the deaths of Afghan and international personnel.”

With a NATO investigation into the matter pending, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar telephoned U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to convey the “deep sense of rage” in Pakistan.  She said the attack demonstrated “complete disregard for international law and human life, and... negates the progress made by the two countries on improving relations.”  Clinton responded by saying she was deeply saddened, and promised to work with Pakistan on the issue.

Pakistan also is reexamining its decision to attend a major Afghanistan peace conference in Bonn next month, but has made no final announcement.

Retired Lieutenant General Talat Masood, an expert on Pakistan's strategic affairs, says the killings have dealt a severe blow to the already negative perceptions of the U.S. among Pakistanis.

“The majority of the people think that it was an aggression committed by the U.S. by design. The public sentiment has become very anti-American," Masood stated. "And, of course, it gives a big handle to the media to spread the nationalist frenzy.”

Pakistani television networks broadcast images of the soldiers' funerals Sunday.  Soldiers' coffins were draped in the Pakistani flag and airlifted to their respective hometowns for burial.

Masood says a thorough and transparent investigation into why and how the airstrike took place may have a chance at soothing some of the anger in this country.

“I think if the investigation takes place in which Pakistan is taken into full confidence, and if the truth comes out that this was a gross miscalculation on the part of some of the intelligence people - and they apologize, and they compensate - I think it would make definitely a difference,” Masood said.

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden used Afghanistan as a base to plan and execute the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.  U.S. special forces killed bin Laden in a Pakistan compound earlier this year.  U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan have faced a constant challenge with the Pakistan border, which is frequently crossed by Pakistan-based militants.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid