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

Sambisa Forest Stands Between Nigeria, Victory Over Boko Haram

Military takes back nearly all towns, villages in northeast, except for massive expanse of forest that spreads thousands of square kilometers over several states More

Islamic State Recruiting Stokes Fears for Parents in Georgia

Chechens are a notable part of Islamic State's gains in Syria and Iraq, and analysts fear what might happen if those fighters return to the Caucasus More

Yarmouk Camp Becomes Distant Memory for Palestinian Diaspora

Once thriving capital of Palestinian diaspora, after siege by Syrian government forces and Islamic State group, camp becomes 'deepest circle of hell' 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.
Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'i
X
Sharon Behn
April 21, 2015 9:18 PM
A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten. Sharon Behn reports on the politics of the word genocide on the 100th anniversary of the events.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video German Program Helps Migrants Overcome Traumatic Experience at Sea

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia risk life and limb to reach safety in Europe. Those who have made it to European shores are traumatized by the experience. A program in Germany helps survivors overcome the trauma by giving a new perspective to their catastrophic experience. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs