Pakistan blocks NATO supply line after strike

Published: October 1, 2010

This is the second time Nato has violated Pakistan airspace today.

ISLAMABAD / PESHAWAR: 

A diplomatic row between Islamabad and US-led international forces stationed in Afghanistan appeared to be worsening on Thursday after Pakistan temporarily suspended overland Nato supplies to retaliate against repeated intrusions and killing of its personnel.

According to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), three Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers were killed and three injured on Thursday in firing by the two helicopters that crossed the border into Pakistan at an outpost of the Frontier Corps.

But Brigadier General Josef Blotz, senior spokesman for Isaf in Kabul, told Express 24/7’s Quatrina Hosain that the incident occurred “when Isaf observed a group of insurgents trying to fire mortars at a coalition base in Afghanistan’s Paktia province.”

In the first incident on Thursday, two helicopters from Afghanistan crossed the border into Pakistan at Mandata Kandaho, Ali Mangola area of Upper Kurram Agency.

Troops of the Frontier Corps present at the post retaliated through rifle fire to indicate that the helicopters were crossing into Pakistani territory. The helicopters in response fired two missiles, which killed three soldiers and injured three others.

The second strike took place in the Mata Sangar area. Isaf says the helicopters targeted militants in Afghanistan’s Paktia province, opposite Kurram, and that they did not cross into Pakistan. The slain security personnel were identified as Nawazish Khan, Shahinshah and Ali, while Afsar Khan, Duniya Khel and Norouz were injured in the attack.

In the meantime, Nato and the Pakistani government said they were investigating the reported incident in Kurram district which Washington has branded an al Qaeda headquarters and hub of militants fighting in Afghanistan.

Islamabad also retaliated by shutting down movement of Nato cargo through Pakistan, citing security reasons  “Trucks carrying supplies for Nato troops in Afghanistan have been stopped for a day from Karachi to Torkham,” an official told The Express Tribune.

An official from the Frontier Constabulary (FC) said the suspension was “temporary” and trucks would start driving towards Afghanistan on Friday.

It is for the first time in nine years that Nato supplies were hindered by any reason other than attacks by groups affiliated to al Qaeda and Taliban, especially Lashkar-e-Islam led by Commander Mangal Bagh in Khyber.

The Nato attack brought widespread condemnation from within Pakistan. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Pakistan “will not tolerate any such attacks on its security forces.”

Malik said that after these attacks Pakistan “will have to think whether Nato considers it a friend or a foe.”

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani took up the Nato attacks with visiting CIA chief Leon Panetta. The CIA chief is trying to convince Pakistan’s military leader¬ship for an all-out operation in North Waziristan.

The latest strike came on the heels of similar multiple attacks by Nato helicopters inside North Waziristan tribal district over the last weekend, killing 50 people, most of them from the Haqqani network.

Overall, it was the fourth cross-border attack by Nato troops in what officials in Brussels, the Nato headquarters, said was ‘hot pursuit’ to kill Pakistani militants allegedly launching ‘audacious’ guerilla strikes in Afghanistan.

Almost three quarters of Nato supplies are routed through Pakistan, from Karachi to Torkham through Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and parts of tribal areas.

According to locals and officials in Khyber tribal agency just outside Peshawar, Nato trucks were being stopped at Takhta Baig, hardly a couple of kilometers from the city. “They (trucks) are in hundreds. The FC personnel are guarding them,” the locals said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Brussels has been instructed to lodge a strong protest at the Nato Headquarters over the missile strike.

“The UN mandate for Isaf  is confined to Afghanistan and Nato/Isaf forces are again advised to refrain from any actions that constitute a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty,” the statement said.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2010.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • S. Ali Raza
    Sep 30, 2010 - 1:58PM

    Great.. let see if our Interior Minister and Information Minister along with the Foreign Office have the courage to fight back to the supreme masters. Recommend

  • Adam
    Sep 30, 2010 - 2:13PM

    Good response.. please stop the supply for an extended period, not just a few hours or days, let’s see how they fight their crazy war.Recommend

  • Kamran Nifasat
    Sep 30, 2010 - 2:15PM

    We will do this, we will do that, we will protest ……. only mimicking !!!!

    Wake up Politicians if you have any honour for yourself & your country. It seems you politicians have sold this country to USA. Shame on you people.

    My Dear Borthers & sisters do not blame our Army for this, as Mr. Asif Ali Zardari is the Supereme Commander of our Forces and without his consent our Forces can not move.Recommend

  • Waqar Ahmed
    Sep 30, 2010 - 2:32PM

    What should we expect from Pakistani Officials now…Hmmmmmmmmmm same old story, “we wont take it again” “it is unbearable” Bla Bla Bla president will say nothing. Army will act like they are very angry but for them “sub chalta hai”.
    We as nation are dead, the attack was on “Khurrum agency” thats why we dont care, untill it happens in our own house. Pakistan is consist of so many nations Sects religions and all of us are living here like tenants.Recommend

  • Copper
    Sep 30, 2010 - 2:43PM

    “Wake up Politicians” ?? strange call isn’t it?
    FYI, its Pakistan army who is responsible to guard borders not politicians. But this overly hyped institution can only win against the its own government during the coup to overthrow PM; not otherwise.Recommend

  • ASQ
    Sep 30, 2010 - 2:55PM

    i completely agree our armed forces need permission to perform their duty while for doing any thing unconstitutional like coup they just bulldoze civilian authority!!!!!Recommend

  • Aasia Sohail Mian
    Sep 30, 2010 - 2:55PM

    This is a wake up call now the game is being transferred to Pakistan. The Musharaf Government has started this and now present government is carrying forward. The people like Zardari, Rehman Malik and others can not protect us. We need leaders not rulers. Pakistan needs a great change in its political scene to remain intact..Recommend

  • Sep 30, 2010 - 3:07PM

    Why does anyone care what Rehman Malik says, we all know that the Army has complete sway over Pakistans policy towards Afghanistan, if Pakistan is not responding in kind, can we please have the DG ISPR state exactly what Pakistan’s position is. Recommend

  • Shoaib Farooqui
    Sep 30, 2010 - 3:11PM

    Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Owais Ghani slammed the earlier attack on the security check post by Nato choppers, saying that Nato raids are an assault on Pakistan’s sovereignty. ”We will have to reconsider police on war on terror” he said.

    Please don’t be so hasty and proofread what you type.Recommend

  • Irshad
    Sep 30, 2010 - 3:12PM

    America should help the Baluch people in kicking out the Punjabi Army out of Baluchistan. We will give NATO a transit route through Independent Baluchistan.Recommend

  • Sohail
    Sep 30, 2010 - 3:30PM

    It is not a bigger issue, why over media is rising it. This might be a misunderstanding. Pakistan and US are the allies on war against terror, and their have very good inter-relations.Recommend

  • Kamran Nifasat
    Sep 30, 2010 - 3:34PM

    Dear Copper & ASQ:

    I feel pitty for you both for still beleving in politicians. Democracy is best revenge but from whom??? Flood Tax will be imposed, but on whom??? VAT will be imposed, but on whom??? Recommend

  • Sep 30, 2010 - 3:34PM

    I do not why we as nation we do not own the problem ! yes it is responsibility of government and army but we must know we are caught in situation where india on west us and Nato on east , taliban hitting in KP and all major city , Insurgency in Baluchistan and last but not least militant in karachi . As nation we must own these problem and restrain our reaction and wait for our time ( at least two or three year ) . Recommend

  • Copper
    Sep 30, 2010 - 4:46PM

    Dear Kamran Nifasat
    Please try to stay on topic; Do you really believe politicians control army on Afghan issue? Or you think its duty of politicians to protect borders? If yes, good luck, keep living in fool’s paradise Recommend

  • Kamran Nifasat
    Sep 30, 2010 - 5:12PM

    Dear Copper

    It is not the matter of control, politicians make policy and army implement it. Now tell me why a civilian (zardari) is the Supereme Commander of our Armed Forces and whose policies Armed Forces to follow.Recommend

  • Copper
    Sep 30, 2010 - 5:56PM

    Dear Kamran Nifasat
    Are you really so naive as you appear from your comments? Zardari can give orders to Kiani? Everybody knows it’s a ceremonial position, the supreme commander (the President) can be seen begging to his subordinate (COAS). With your current state of awareness, I would suggest you to read newspaper daily to realise what is the role Army Cheif in Pakistan; he is the Godfather Recommend

  • Anoop
    Sep 30, 2010 - 6:46PM

    Hey this is really good news. If the Pakistani army refuse to exercise sovereignty then NATO has no option to attack. Even Pakistani army is scared to go into these areas and has shown all indications that it’ll never occupy them and bring it under Pakistan control. So, the question is why should NATO not attack no-man’s land?Recommend

  • Ali Farooqui
    Sep 30, 2010 - 6:52PM

    Thats it! they cant go to Iran for access, stop their convoys en-route and lets see how long they carry on their cross border raid… Recommend

  • kamaal khan
    Sep 30, 2010 - 6:53PM

    @Kamran, If real power would have been in Zardari’s hand then we would not have been hearing the cry of change everyday..Qayani would have been at home by this time..Recommend

  • Sep 30, 2010 - 7:04PM

    These attacks don’t just put the sovereignty of Pakistan under threat but also draw a big and ugly question mark on the effectiveness and efficiency of Pakistan ARMY. War on terror is getting even more confusing than it ever was. Be it terrorists or the NATO forces, only we have the casualties in both cases. Whose side are we own? We don’t even have “our” side anymore!

    Politicians have passed a resolution saying “such attacks on Pakistan would not be accepted and we have the power to defend ourselves”.

    Good Enough? I don’t think so. We know we have the power, that’s not news. But would we resolve to a military solution to the said problem? Do ARMY have enough guts to fire back at NATO choppers, even when they are fired upon?

    I don’t think any of this is going to happen. Firing back is a far fetched deal we won’t even be able to suspend the NATO supplies for long. Our government wouldn’t want to jeopardize the pledged amount in aid now would it? Recommend

  • Gangly Khan
    Sep 30, 2010 - 8:00PM

    Were armed forces sleeping when NATO helicopters violated our air space and killed our soldiers. Where were our hawks and tigers who claim to defend every inch of homeland. Responsible for failing to react should be made accountable. Our soldiers should not be made coward. Commanders should lead them to tear out those who cast evil eyes on us. It is high time to say good bye. Recommend

  • Mohsin Hijazee
    Sep 30, 2010 - 9:54PM

    Now Fasi Zaka and the league will say that these attacks are justified too.Recommend

  • Dr Mirza Mohammed Hakim
    Sep 30, 2010 - 11:55PM

    Let the government and the corrupt, cowardly politicians who comprise it go to dogs; the Army could have intervened and retaliated. Then, they aggressors would know that there will be retaliation for such incursions. But in this case, the Army too has proven its incompetence and apathy by doing nothing. Is this their much-vaunted ‘might’ against ‘foreign invasion’? Shame on the brass.Recommend

  • Enough with America
    Oct 1, 2010 - 7:53AM

    Pakistan should throw out all American “contractors” and “aid workers”. They are really US military troops causing turmoil in Pakistan.

    Shut the border for minimum of 30 days.

    Demand the USA recognize Pakistan’s nuclear program and provide civilian nuclear technology.

    These 3 items must be implemented to make the Yankees understand.Recommend

  • Sadiq Ali
    Oct 1, 2010 - 9:11AM

    Drop nukes on US bases in Afghanistan, that will teach the yanksRecommend

  • Angelos
    Oct 1, 2010 - 10:44AM

    This incident clearly shows that NATO and Americans fire first and asks questions later whether it was militant, ally soldier or civilian. Where are all the claims of ‘we will save our homeland blah blah blah’, until we retaliate, such incidents will continue to occur and they will call it ‘misunderstanding…..sorry…..move on’.Recommend

  • Khan
    Oct 1, 2010 - 12:12PM

    I think if our armed forces cannot defend the country then we should stop spending money on them and become part of India ( a sovereign country) where US do not have courage to strike. Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Oct 1, 2010 - 12:35PM

    @ Sadiq Ali Nukes r ‘ceremonial weapons’, like white elephant. An expensive show piece. Just an intent shown by your Army to use them will make Americans bomb Pakistan into stoneage!Recommend

  • kamal
    Oct 1, 2010 - 3:06PM

    After Iraq and Afganistan….it will be Pakistan..Pakistani should not give any such excuse to America..Recommend

  • abdus
    Oct 2, 2010 - 12:11AM

    @khan: your thoughts are foolish we lost our loved one’s in 1947 at the time of partition and now you are saying to rejoin india. Let me make one thing very clear there should be no confusions on capabilitis of Pakistan amry. Army is under influence of Governament otherwise they know how to save borders and how to take revenge…Recommend

  • Fayaz Hussain
    Oct 2, 2010 - 9:34AM

    Well said Rehman Malik that these types of attacks on our armed personnel would not be tollerated..
    will you ever come up with any solution instead of just realising statements on media?
    in reaction what have our government decided and have they formed any strategy to coup with likely another attack on our forces… our armed personnel are posted at border only to perform their duties by protecting it from any type of occupancy weather by air, land, or sea.. they r not there only to be killed by so called pakistani friends ? point to ponder
    We have best and well trained forces with us who might not be having the latet gears but highest courage, what to say about our Commandos, fact is that our FC personnel has retaliated the intrusion and tried to stop a sophisticated coppter with merely their rifles.. what do u think that they were just stupid individuals who do not know that their decades old technology rifles could stop the coppeters ??? that is the courage..
    why they were not been provided support at the time of action while they were sacrificing their lives ?
    what is done that could not be reversed but we must have a suitable plan and make sure that we r not putting lives of our soldiers on stack the next time. and the couregous soldiers who gives their lives in course of duty should be given top militry awards and financial support to their families..Recommend

  • Gangly Khan
    Oct 2, 2010 - 4:16PM

    Abdus did anyone compel you migrate to this area? In 1947 killing muslims and hindus occurred at the instance of leaders who now hold the field. Migration was not at the agenda. People migrated at their own. Still muslims are residing in India who did not intend to migrate. Similarly Hindus who loved to stay back are still here.Recommend

  • Oct 5, 2010 - 1:35AM

    Gentleman stop living in a fool’s paradise. While we maybe led to believe that such actions have been taken to retaliate against repeated intrusions and killing of its personnel.
    The foreign ministry office left no stone unturned in declaring that Pakistan will only reopen a supply route (only one of the many supply routes has been blocked) for coalition troops in Afghanistan once public anger over Nato incursions eases and security improves, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Sunday.
    So its basically to do with the security of NATO trucks and public anger than to express their own dismay over the tragic death of her soldiers.Recommend

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