NATO attacks cause death of 72 PakistanI soldiers in 3 years

Pakistan writes to UN Secretary General asking him to inform UN General Assembly and Security Council

Pakistan has formally communicated to the United Nations its protest and condemnation of the NATO airstrike that killed its 24 soldiers and has strained ties between Washington and Islamabad.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.N. Abdullah Hussain Haroon has written a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon informing him of the NATO attack of November 26 “on Pakistan’s border posts (that) resulted in the martyrdom of 24 officers and soldiers of the Pakistani army.”

He further wrote in the letter that 13 personnel were also injured in the attack.

Mr. Haroon was in Pakistan for the last few weeks and writing the letter, dated November 27 and marked “most urgent”, to the U.N. Chief is understood to have been among the first things he did after returning to New York.

Mr. Haroon has also forwarded to the Secretary-General the statement that was issued in Islamabad by the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) after it held an emergency meeting, chaired by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, following the attack on Saturday.

In the statement issued on November 26, the committee had “strongly condemned” the NATO attack and said protests had been lodged with the US and NATO headquarters in Brussels conveying in the strongest possible terms Pakistan’s condemnation of the attack which constituted breach of sovereignity... and had gravely dented the fundamental basis of Pakistan’s cooperation with NATO/ISAF against militancy and terror.”

Through the statement, Mr. Haroon communicated to the UN chief the decision by Pakistan to ask the U.S. to vacate the Shamsi Air Base within 15 days and to close two main NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.

Mr. Haroon has requested the U.N. Chief that the statement by the Defence Committee of the Cabinet be “forwarded” to the “Presidents of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council with the request for its circulation as a document” of the 15-member Council and the 193-nation General Assembly.

The office of the Security Council’s President, currently Ambassador Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral of Portugal, in turn has submitted to the members of the Council “for their information” Mr. Haroon’s letter as well as the DCC statement, which “will be issued as a document” of the UNSC.

Pakistan will sit at the U.N. Security Council as a non-permanent member for a two year term that will begin in January next year.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ban’s Deputy Spokesperson Eduardo del Buey told reporters at a briefing that while The Secretary-General’s office was aware of the NATO attack, “we are waiting to see if we get a line on that.”

Mr. Buey said he had no further comment on the issue but added that “thus far, there has been no Security Council resolution or General Assembly resolution on this situation and on the cross-border bombings.”


Pakistan hits 'lame excuses' for NATO attack

by: Amanda Hodge, South Asia correspondent, Nov 29, 2011

ISLAMABAD yesterday branded as "lame excuses" claims its troops fired on Afghan and US soldiers, triggering the weekend NATO bombing attack on two Pakistani military bases that killed at least 24 border guards.

Pakistan is threatening to pull out of next week's Bonn conference on Afghanistan, at which key stakeholders will attempt to draw up a plan for transition from a US-led NATO command to an Afghan security force by December 2014.

With Pakistan's co-operation considered key to an orderly and peaceful transition, the Afghan authorities yesterday urged Islamabad to reconsider.

The Islamabad government has already ordered US troops out of its Shamsi air base in Balochistan, believed to be the base for CIA drone attacks on remote militant targets.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said yesterday the government had permanently blocked - not suspended - NATO access to two Pakistan border crossings, through which the military alliance channels 40 per cent of the supplies for 130,000 coalition troops in Afghanistan.

A spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said the decision to attend the Bonn peace conference was "being examined".

Several Pakistani newspapers yesterday cited an unnamed official as saying that in light of the killings the country's security establishment had halted "all efforts to persuade the Afghan Taliban to come to the negotiating table".

On Sunday, hundreds of enraged Pakistanis protested over the NATO bombings, burning effigies of US President Barack Obama and setting fire to US flags across the country.

Public anger over the US attacks on the two bases in the remote border agency of Mohmand on Saturday is likely to increase over claims by Western and Afghan officials that NATO jets and helicopters were responding to firing from a Pakistani post on the ill-defined Afghan border.

The Wall Street Journal yesterday cited a Western official who said the attack was a "defensive action" and that Afghan and US troops in Afghanistan's restive Kunar province "were fired on from a Pakistani army base".

An Afghan official in Kabul told the Journal: "There was firing coming from the position against Afghan army soldiers, who requested support, and this is what happened."

Pakistan's military spokesman, Athar Abbas, shot back: "These are lame excuses that the attack was made after Pakistani soldiers opened fire on NATO forces or that NATO forces were chasing the Taliban in the area."

Major General Abbas said the NATO attacks continued long enough for the Pakistan authorities to contact the NATO headquarters, but no action was taken to stop the bombing.

Pakistan's opposition parties have questioned their military's failure to defend its bases.

The country's military and civilian leaders are under pressure over their failure to follow tough words with actions over the perceived US aggression.

It is not the first time Afghan and coalition troops have accused Pakistan military and frontier soldiers of firing on them.

Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have deteriorated in recent months over claims Pakistani troops fired hundreds of rockets into Afghan villages in Kunar, a few kilometres from the military bases targeted by the US at the weekend.

The troops in Pakistan's Frontier Corps are recruited from the same northwestern provinces - Khyber Paktunkhwa and the militant-supporting border lands - they are ordered to protect, and even within Pakistan it is acknowledged that some soldiers may have dual loyalties.

The Australian

Pakistani FM briefs China, Russia on NATO attacks, gov't decisions

Nov. 28 - Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Monday briefed her Chinese and Russian counterparts on NATO attacks and the decisions taken by the Pakistani government following the strikes which reportedly killed 24 Pakistani troops and injured 13 others, according to APP, a government-run news agency in Pakistan.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar spoke to the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Monday to brief him on the NATO/ISAF attacks and the decisions taken by the Defense Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) on Saturday.

The Foreign Minister had a 40-minute conversation in which she informed her Chinese counterpart of the extreme outrage in Pakistan, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi expressed deep shock and strong concern over the incident and extended condolences to the aggrieved families. He said that Pakistan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. He also called for a thorough and serious investigation into the matter.

On Monday evening, the Pakistani Foreign Minister also briefed her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the unprovoked NATO/ISAF attack on Pakistani territory and the decisions taken by DCC.

She underscored that besides being a gross violation of established international norms, such attacks pose a threat to regional peace and stability as well.

Lavrov expressed sympathy for the loss of lives and injuries as well as complete understanding of Pakistan's position, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He underscored that Pakistan and Russia were partners in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and also partners in promoting regional cooperation. He stressed the need of NATO thoroughly investigating the incident.

On early Saturday morning, NATO fighter jets and gunship helicopters struck two army checkposts in Pakistan's northwest tribal area of Mohmmand Agency bordering Afghanistan, killing 24 Pakistani troops including two senior officers and injuring 13 others. The incident led to decisions by the Pakistani government to close the supply lines for the NATO troops stationed in Afghanistan through Pakistan and vacate a major U.S. Shamsi airbase in the country's southwest province of Balochistan within 15 days.



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