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Friday, October 3, 2008

More confusion about U.S. Pakistan attacks.

In a remarkable bit of contradictory Newspeak we have the following from wiredispatch:

U.S. commanders have spoken of respect for Pakistan's sovereignty but have suggested they will not stop cross-border strikes on militants.

Maybe I am a bit old-fashioned as well as being a former logic teacher but I would think that if the commanders respected Pakistan's sovereignty they would not strike militants in Pakistan without Pakistan's go ahead.

Another article also from wiredispatch notes that Pakistani intelligence and the Pakistani military disagree about whether a recent attack was on the Afghan or Pakistani side of the border.There seem to be hopeless divisions involved here. Surely it would be easy enough to determine if there was an attack on the village within Pakistan.




ISLAMABAD, Oct 3 (Reuters) - A NATO airstrike on Friday struck a target on the Afghan side of the border, not in Pakistan, a Pakistani military spokesman said.
The official account contradicted those of Pakistani intelligence officers in the North Waziristan tribal region, who told Reuters the airstrike killed three people in a village close to the border with Afghanistan.
Major-General Athar Abbas said the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force had informed Pakistan it would be conducting an operation across the border from North Waziristan, and there was no intrusion into Pakistani territory. (Reporting by Zeeshan Haider; Writing by Simon Cameron-Moore; Editing by Jerry Norton)
Source: Reuters North American News

At the same time the Pakistani prime minister has used very strong rhetoric in condemning unauthorised cross-border raids as this article from the Gulf News shows:


US cross-border attacks a form of terrorism - PM
By Shahid Hussain, CorrespondentPublished: October 02, 2008, 00:07
Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani yesterday said that attacks by US drones on targets inside Pakistan's tribal region bordering Afghanistan amounted to "terrorism".
Talking to reporters at his official residence on the first day of Eid, Gilani rebuffed suggestions that the government had not condemned the incursions as forcefully as it should have.
"These attacks are a form of terrorism," the prime minister said, adding that such actions encourage and strengthen militancy and were thus counter-productive.
Gilani said the US leadership had assured respect for Pakistan's sovereignty and he hoped that the promise would be kept.

The prime minister said the Pakistani security forces were successfully carrying out operations against militants in Bajur tribal area and tribesmen were supporting them in the campaign to rid their area of militants.
The comments came as a suspected US missile strike within Pakistan killed six people, indicating Washington is pressing ahead with cross-border raids on militant targets despite protests from the new government.
The suspected US missile strike was the first since President Asif Ali Zardari visited New York, where he warned that Pakistan cannot allow its territory to "be violated by our friends".
Two intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say the missiles struck the home of a local Taliban commander before midnight Tuesday near Mir Ali. That's in the North Waziristan region that borders Afghanistan.
The officials cite reports from their field agents in saying six people were killed in the attack. They say a US drone aircraft fired the missiles.
- With inputs from AP

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