Attack on border post

Published: November 26, 2011

The fact is that such incursions of our sovereignty have become routine. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

Like all cliches, the one about the trigger-happy Yank who likes to go it alone persists to this day because it contains a kernel of truth. That was reinforced by the November 26 cross-border raid by Nato forces that killed at least 24 Pakistani soldiers manning a checkpost in Mohmand Agency. Without implying that the attack was a deliberate one, the shoot-first, ask-questions-later policy that is standard practice for troops in Afghanistan makes such tragedies inevitable. In retaliation, Pakistan has blocked all Nato supplies from crossing the border, a policy it cannot sustain indefinitely but one that is certainly justified for this unprovoked attack. What makes this incident so galling is that it has so far played out as a rerun of a similar episode from September of last year. On that occasion, Nato forces actually encroached on Pakistani territory and killed two security officials in Kurram Agency. The response then, too, was a suspension of Nato supplies but after an apology from the US ambassador and a promise from then Isaf commander David Petraeus that greater care would be taken, the supply lines were reopened. Expect the same scenario to play out again. The fact is that such incursions of our sovereignty have become routine and we have become so dependent on the US that we just have to grin and bear it. The US, too, has been looking elsewhere for supply routes. It has recently begun using a route that begins in Russia and traverses through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan before reaching the landlocked Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, this latest incident is a bloody reminder of how the two countries are poles apart when it comes to Afghanistan. The reason the US carries out such risky raids in Pakistan is because we have refused to take action against the Haqqani network, claiming it is not in our interest to do so. The US, however, has a muddled policy, prompted by its desire to withdraw from Afghanistan, whereby they want to both, kill as many Taliban militants as possible while at the same time holding peace talks with them. Rather than continue the charade of claiming they have common ground, it may be best for the two countries to acknowledge that, when it comes to Afghanistan, their interests do not match.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2011. 

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Reader Comments (17)

  • SalSal
    Nov 26, 2011 - 9:28PM

    Americans then cry that why we dint trust them

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  • JCD
    Nov 26, 2011 - 9:33PM

    This piece smells of unsympathetic, anti-establishment, elite liberal fascist pro-American taste. Not a word has been given condemning the attack or even just a sentence condoling the loss of those young men who gave their lives away for this country. I could have easily taken this editorial as being on a foreign paper. Is this a Pakistani newspaper or what? Sometimes, I really wonder if the “editorial” guys writing ET are Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Masood Khan
    Nov 26, 2011 - 11:25PM

    Why so much noise on NATO attack on Pak soldiers, what about drone attacks, don’t these fall under sovernighty violation? What about loss of life when militants attack Pak soldiers’ convoys?

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  • Usman
    Nov 27, 2011 - 12:16AM

    and we have become so dependent on the US that we just have to grin and bear it

    Can you explain what part of the Pakistan Government Military or Civilian is dependent on the US in anyway? Training? Aid? Technical help? Help in energy sector? Anything? If we expel the US Ambassador tomorrow, what will we lose?

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  • Kataria
    Nov 27, 2011 - 1:09AM

    JCD, that’s because ET and its editorial staff is financed by the US state department. The International Herald Tribune, its ‘partner’ is an offshoot of NYTimes, a mouthpiece of the US establishment. ET is the result of the US ‘drive’ to partner with ‘civilians’ in pushing its agenda providing millions in media engagement.

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  • Devils Advice
    Nov 27, 2011 - 1:29AM

    Did I read correctly SOVEREIGNTY ???
    Does that word has any meaning in this part of the world?

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  • Patrick McElvaney
    Nov 27, 2011 - 3:19AM

    The US needs to hold back Pakistan’s latest order of Blk. 52 F-16s until the country allows NATO supplies across the border. If Pakistan proceeds to take further attempted punitive action such as cutting back or curtailing intelligence cooperation, we should simply cut all military aid. This includes weapons, ammunition, and possibly training.

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  • yamiji ramiji
    Nov 27, 2011 - 3:32AM

    Mark my words. This matter would be solved ‘amicably’ and the situation would become ‘happy-happy’ again in a few weeks. We have seen this cycle before and we will see it again.

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  • Irshad Khan
    Nov 27, 2011 - 1:23PM

    Why our forces did not shoot the attacking NATO helicopters and died helplessly?

    a) If they were not properly equipped for the purpose?
    b) They had no orders to shoot, even in their defence?
    c) It was mid-night and they were not 100% alert?
    d) Why our planes did not chase the intruding planes even into the territory of Afghanistan, if
    needed?

    Twenty-four loyal and dedicated young sons of this country have been massacred brutally by our so called friends, it is not an ordinary matter.

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  • Ali Omer
    Nov 27, 2011 - 3:54PM

    An unfortunate incident in which NATO again breached its promise that they will not violate the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan. But wait, now its not the time to repeat all those cliches that we Pakistanis had been doing in the past. Let us reply them differently. They apologizes on killing of 24 Brave young Pakistani soldiers by just tweeting as if it was a small mistake that can be undone by just erasing like a small child do while writing ABCD…(Alphabets of English in his early ages). Let them teach a lesson now. I am very happy to hear timely response of our Leadership and I would rather say Military Leadership more directly. I am sure after decision of closure of supply routes of NATO and Shamsi Air Field, NATO will surely learn how to behave like a well mannered pet who not only obeys his master but also know its limits. That is why pet’s home is made outside the house so that they should learn their limits. I would rather say now that not only the leadership of our country, we being a true Pakistanis should also act as a responsible Pakistanis. This country is ours we have to do something to safe it, as we safeguard our private property. This is time to make or break. Let us show our oneness and support to our armed forces that what so ever the difference we have amongst ourselves, we are One and United.

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  • Anuj Mehta
    Nov 27, 2011 - 6:28PM

    @ Usman……OBL was killed in pakistan by US forces…..haha…….that explains your sovereignty and trustworthiness…..and power of US…….Recommend

  • Anuj Mehta
    Nov 27, 2011 - 6:30PM

    @ Ali Omer……what did you say? NATO as well mannered PET…..hehehe…….tch tch….you guys are on verge of nervous breakdown……:PP

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  • Dr.A.K. Tewari
    Nov 27, 2011 - 6:35PM

    If NATO supply will be disrrupted by Pakistan notning will happen to INSAF as there is otner alternatives to it but that will be an end of Pak role in the war against terrorism . The decision will be not helpful in restoring the sovereignity of Pakistan and US will have to stay there for a long time in Afghanistan .

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  • sohaib
    Nov 27, 2011 - 6:50PM

    @JCD I agree with you. Not a single sentence of condolences. It seems like ET is a foreign paper. No sympathy for the interests of Pakistan in fact ridiculing them and peddling foreign interests. Shame on you.

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    Nov 27, 2011 - 7:28PM

    @Kataria:
    Thanks for your input. There was dall mein kalla as I used to imagine. But you have set th record straight. ET has surprised me as well on many occasions.

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  • Toti873
    Nov 27, 2011 - 9:03PM

    I request NATO not to kill the sleeping soldiers on duty. Kiani is reported to have said to BBC: “The latest attack by Nato forces on our post will have serious repercussions as NATO planes attacked on our post and killed soldiers asleep,”
    This is exactly why sleeping on the job is not allowed anywhere else in the world. Instead of Haqqani, army should investigate why were they sleep. Same could be said about the army when it slept when US attacked and killed OBL earlier this year.
    It appears it is a handicap to be a civilian in Pakistan. Sorry for the loss of soldiers though.

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  • Cautious
    Nov 28, 2011 - 12:56AM

    The premise that NATO made an unprovoked sneak attack on a Pakistani border outpost is absurd on the surface defying common sense and ignoring a long history of Pakistani troops firing across the border at NATO troops. Pakistani’s should be intelligent enough to know that if NATO wants to eliminate your border outpost it has the capacity to do eliminate all of them in one night — it hasn’t done so because there is no reason to do so. The almost immediate placing of blame on NATO without a review of the facts is typical of Pakistani military which has a less than stellar reputation when it comes to being truthful on any issue which may make them look bad.

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