News / Asia

Pakistan to Reexamine Relations with US After Deadly NATO Raid

Pakistani protesters shout slogans against America and NATO in Lahore, Pakistan, November 26, 2011.
Pakistani protesters shout slogans against America and NATO in Lahore, Pakistan, November 26, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

Pakistan says it is reviewing its relations with the United States and NATO in the aftermath of a predawn cross-border airstrike Saturday on two military outposts in the country's northwest which killed at least 26 Pakistani soldiers and wounded 14 others.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and top military and government leaders discussed the situation at an emergency meeting late Saturday.

In a formal statement, they said the Pakistani government "will revisit and undertake a complete review of all programs, activities and cooperative arrangements with US/NATO/ISAF, including diplomatic, political, military and intelligence."  They called for "strong and urgent action against those responsible for this aggression."

Mr. Gilani said the killings were "an attack on Pakistan's sovereignty," and his army chief of staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, condemned the attack as "blatant and unacceptable act."

Pakistan shut down all NATO supply lines through its territory to Afghanistan and ordered the United States to vacate an airbase in southwestern Baluchistan province within 15 days.  The CIA reportedly uses the Shamsi airbase for covert drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal belt, but the Pakistani military said in June that the United States does not operate out of that base.

The United States says Pakistan's tribal belt is a sanctuary for the Taliban, which has been fighting for 10 years against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  However, official Washington scrambled Saturday to stress how seriously U.S. officials are taking this incident.

The White House said senior U.S. civilian and military officials contacted their Pakistani counterparts "to express our condolences, our desire to work together to determine what took place, and our commitment to the U.S.-Pakistan partnership ... [of] shared interests, including fighting terrorism."

Pentagon chief Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued an unusual joint statement expressing their "deepest condolences" for the incident in Pakistan's border region.  They stressed they would would press for an immediate investigation by NATO.

U.S. officials have not given a detailed account of the raid on the Pakistani outposts, nor have they confirmed that Pakistan shut down supply lines to Afghanistan.

NATO said the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, General John Allen, is personally paying the "highest attention" to the investigation of what happened.

NATO spokesman General Carsten Jacobson said Afghan and coalition forces were operating in the border area of eastern Afghanistan when "a tactical situation" prompted them to call in close air support.  He said it was "likely" that coalition airstrikes caused Pakistani casualties.

In Islamabad, U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter was summoned to the Foreign Ministry to explain the incident.  Munter said he promised the U.S. would work closely with Pakistan in any investigation.

Ties between Washington and Islamabad have been unraveling since a covert U.S. commando raid on May 2 killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, who was hiding for years in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbotabad.  Pakistan was outraged it was not informed beforehand and angered by what it saw as a U.S. violation of its sovereignty.

In Washington, the joint Panetta-Clinton statement said the secretary of state, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, and ISAF commander General Allen "each called their Pakistani counterparts...These U.S. diplomatic and military leaders each stressed, in addition to their sympathies and a commitment to review the circumstances of the incident, the importance of the U.S.-Pakistani partnership, which serves the mutual interests of our people."

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid