அமெரிக்க ராணுவம் பாகிஸ்தான் ராணுவத்தின் மீது தாக்குதலில் 10 பாகிஸ்தான் போர் வீரர்கள் பலி
பாகிஸ்தான் அரசாங்கம் இதனை கோழைத்தனமான தாக்குதல் என்று கடுமையாக விமர்சித்துள்ளது.
Pakistan condemns "cowardly" U.S. attack
By Kamran Haider
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan lodged a strong protest with the United States over an "unprovoked and cowardly" air strike by U.S. forces in Afghanistan that killed 11 Pakistani soldiers at a border post.
They died in the Mohmand region, opposite Afghanistan's Kunar province, late on Tuesday as U.S. coalition forces in Afghanistan battled militants attacking from Pakistan, a Pakistani security official said.
"The attack was unprovoked and a gross violation of international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
"The senseless use of air power against a Pakistani border post by coalition forces is totally unacceptable." U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson was summoned to the Pakistani foreign ministry over the incident, a senior government official said.
In its strongest criticism of the U.S. military since joining the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism, the Pakistani military said the killing of the 11 paramilitary soldiers, including an officer, was "unprovoked and cowardly".
The attack "hit at the very basis of cooperation and sacrifice with which Pakistani soldiers are supporting the coalition in the war against terror", the military said.
The U.S. military said in a statement issued on Wednesday that it had coordinated the artillery and air strike with Pakistan and it was investigating the incident.
Frustration is rising in Kabul and among Western forces in Afghanistan over Pakistani efforts to negotiate pacts to end militant violence on its side of the border. NATO says such deals lead to more violence in Afghanistan.
A Pakistani security official said the soldiers were killed in a counter-offensive after militants had launched an attack into Afghanistan. In response, the U.S. military said the counter-offensive had been aimed at anti-Afghan militants and Pakistan had been told in advance.
"Shortly after the attack began, coalition forces informed the Pakistan army that they were being engaged by anti-Afghan forces in a wooded area near the Gorparai checkpoint," the statement said.
"At that same time, an unmanned aerial system also identified anti-Afghan forces firing at coalition forces. In self-defence, coalition forces fired artillery rounds at the militants."
In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the incident took place in a border area that has long been a shared U.S.-Pakistani concern.
"Because we know that the border region is used as a seam by the enemy, we have any number of coordination measures and mechanisms in place for working with the Pakistani military because we are sensitive to that," he told reporters.
A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said they attacked U.S. and Afghan forces as they were setting up a position on the Pakistan side of the border, and eight Taliban were killed and nine wounded in subsequent U.S. bombing.
The militant spokesman, Maulvi Omar, said by telephone he had heard that U.S. aircraft had also bombed a nearby Pakistani post. The Taliban had captured seven Afghan troops and shot down a helicopter, he said.
Many al Qaeda and Taliban militants took refuge on the Pakistani side of the border after U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.
A new Pakistani government, led by the party of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, has been negotiating with elders of ethnic Pashtun tribes to get them to press the militants to give up a campaign of violence in Pakistan in which hundreds of people have been killed over the past year.
Afghanistan and its Western allies say peace pacts in Pakistan's border regions enable militants to regroup and step up cross-border attacks from Pakistani sanctuaries.
Pakistan supported the Taliban until the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, when it threw its support behind the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism.
(Additional reporting by Shams Mohmand and Paul Eckert in Washington; Writing by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Robert Birsel and David Fox)