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Pakistan blocks supply trucks after three Pakistani soldiers killed in NATO Helicopter attack

September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Pakistan has blocked NATO supply trucks passing through its territory after atleast 3 Pakistani soldiers were killed when a NATO Helicopter targeted a security chekpost in Kurram Agency, near the Pak-Afghan border.

Pakistani government officials said senior authorities had ordered them to block oil tankers and trucks carrying Nato supplies at a checkpoint bordering Afghanistan. The two officials said they were not told the reason for the order at the Torkham border post, but it comes after threats by Pakistani officials to stop providing protection to Nato convoys if the military alliance’s helicopters hit Pakistani targets again.

A NATO helicopter attacked a Pakistani security post near the Afghan border on Thursday, killing three troops, officials in Pakistan said. NATO said it was investigating the allegations and whether they were linked to an operation against insurgents in a nearby Afghan province.

The incident was likely to fray ties between Pakistan and US-led forces in Afghanistan at a crucial time in the nine-year war. Just last weekend, NATO choppers opened fire on targets across the border, killing several alleged insurgents inside Pakistan.

Islamabad protested the incidents, which have further stirred already pervasive anti-American sentiments among Pakistanis.

Shortly after the allegations emerged, two government officials told The Associated Press they were ordered to stop NATO supply trucks from crossing into Afghanistan at the Torkham border post, a major passageway for NATO materials. Earlier this week, Pakistan threatened to stop providing protection to NATO convoys if the military alliance’s choppers attacked targets inside Pakistan again.

Pakistani officials differed on the exact location of the deadly airstrike, saying it took place either in Upper Kurram or Upper Orakzai. The remote, mountainous tribal regions neighbor one another, and the border is hard to distinguish.

The dead men were from a paramilitary force tasked with safeguarding the border, the Pakistani security officials said. Their bodies were taken to the region’s largest town of Parachinar, one official said. Three troops also were wounded.

The Pakistani officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation and because in some cases they were not authorized to release the information to the media.

Lt. Col. John Dorrian, a spokesman for intelligence and special operations at NATO headquarters in Kabul, said coalition forces observed early Thursday what they believed were insurgents firing mortars at a coalition base in Dand Wa Patan district of Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan.

“A coalition air weapons team called for fire support and engaged the insurgents,” he said. “The air weapons team reported that it did not cross into Pakistani air space and believed the insurgents were located on the Afghan side of the border.”

Dorrian said NATO was reviewing the reports to see if the operation in Paktia was related to Pakistan’s reports its forces were hit by NATO aircraft.

In June 2008, a U.S. airstrike killed 11 Pakistani troops and frayed the two nations’ ties. Pakistan said the soldiers died when U.S. aircraft bombed their border post in the Mohmand tribal region. U.S. officials said their coalition’s aircraft dropped bombs during a clash with militants. They expressed regret over the incident, but said it was justified.

Pakistan and the U.S. have a complicated relationship, with distrust on both sides.

Polls show many Pakistanis regard the United States as an enemy, and conspiracy theories abound of U.S. troops wanting to attack Pakistan and take over its nuclear weapons. The Pakistani government has to balance its support for the U.S. war in Afghanistan with the support it needs from the population.

The U.S. and NATO need Pakistan’s cooperation in part because they use its land routes to transport supplies to their troops inside landlocked Afghanistan. The Pakistani government officials said about 250 vehicles of NATO supplies cross into Afghanistan daily.

There were more than 100 NATO vehicles blocked at the checkpoint by Thursday morning, they said.

NATO attacks: Pakistan should move beyond ‘bumper sticker protests”

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

NATO attacks: Pakistan should move beyond ‘bumper sticker protests”

NATO has impugned on Pakistani sovereignty and crossed the border. This incursion should not be tolerated. It crosses the red line drawn by Pakistan. Islamabad should halt NATO supplies for a week. They will be able to replenish the supplies through airlifts and through ammunition and food that has been stored inside Afghanistan. However this will certainly impact the war being waged inside Afghanistan.

  • Two Apache helicopters crossed the border from eastern Afghanistan after insurgents attacked a remote Afghan security outpost in Khost.
  • A statement released late on Sunday night said: “An air weapons team in the area observed the enemy fire, and following International Security Assistance Force rules of engagement, crossed into the area of enemy fire.
  • The ISAF aircraft then engaged, killing more than 30 insurgents.”
  • The raid was followed up on Saturday morning when two Kiowa helicopters returned to the border area killing four more insurgents.
  • Pakistan said the helicopters intruded into its territory twice from the eastern Afghan province of Khost as they chased the militants.
  • “These incidents are a clear violation and breach of the UN mandate under which ISAF operates,” a spokesman from the foreign office said.
  • Pakistan added that ISAF’s mandate “finishes” at the Afghan border.
  • “There are no agreed ‘hot pursuit’ rules. Any impression to the contrary is not factually correct. Such violations are unacceptable,” the foreign office statement added.
  • “In the absence of immediate corrective measures, Pakistan will be constrained to consider response options,” it warned.

The Pakistan Army is busy in Flood Relief and counts on NATO support in many areas–however if it does not act properly this time, the “hot pursuits” on the Western borders will become the norm. Taking its cue the same type of nonsense can then be undertaken on the Eastern borders.

There has to be some sort of retaliation towards NATO. They have not apologized. Instead NATO has tried to justify its actions by trying to rationalize it. More than fifty people were killed which NATO says are “Terrorirsts”. The same NATO is talking peace with the same Taliban that they consider as “Terrorists”.

  • Military sources said the message communicated to the Nato command was crystal clear that in view of declining public support for war on terror, the security of Nato supply routes through Pakistan could be threatened in the aftermath of the new air campaign.
  • Analysts say Pakistan could only stop US-led forces from such violations by tactfully using its leverages that largely relate to the support for war on terror and the supply routes.
  • Nato was asked to coordinate its actions with Pakistan military and avoid crossing the ‘red lines’ — a euphemism for Pakistani sensitivities.

Update: International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which had earlier defended the aerial engagement as an action ‘under the right of self-defence’, later in the evening, according to military sources, informed Pakistani commanders that they were trying to establish that their helicopters during the operation did not cross into Pakistani territory.

72,400 of US heavy weapons ‘missing’ in Afghanistan

September 15, 2010 2 comments

At least 72,400 U.S. supplied AK-47s, hundreds of heavy machine guns and RPG launchers delivered to Afghan police have gone missing.

There are fears that some of the missing weapons of Afghan Police and security forces might have ended up in the hands of the Taliban while several thousand may have been intentionally smuggled into Pakistan for promoting terrorism.

The U.S. military newspaper Start and Stripes quoted “NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan” as saying that a massive hunt is on for tens of thousands of rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers that the U.S. government procured for the Afghan National Police but are unaccounted for.”

According to Logsdon, the U.S. Department of Defence procured more than 72,400 AK-47s, as well as heavy machine guns and RPG launchers for Afghan police. Coalition forces are attempting to track exactly where the weapons are amid allegations by the military and others that some police weapons may have ended up in the hands of the Taliban.

Security experts fear that there was a grand mafia working in Afghanistan with the help of Indian intelligence and transporting arms and drugs into Pakistan as well as into some Central Asian states.

Experts say that recent reports have confirmed delivery of fresh weapons to terrorists of Tehreek-i-Taliban to launch new terrorist actions and attacks inside Pakistan. It is important to note that during recent weeks there have been more than eight terrorist actions launched by foreign-backed terrorists inside Pakistan.

Pakistan recently complained to Western states about support provided to anti-Pakistan terrorists’ networks in Afghanistan but NATO officials were reluctant to take necessary action to curb infiltration from Afghanistan into Pakistan.