Pakistanis set alight the flags of NATO and the United States in Multan, Pakistan. The level of anger toward the United States in the country has ranged between irritation to complete rage. At the moment, the scales are definitely tipped toward the complete rage range of the spectrum.
The ongoing crisis in Pakistan-U.S.
relations has now spread to the rest of NATO. A NATO helicopter has attacked a
Pakistan check post in Salala, Mohmand Agency, martyring
no less than 25 Pakistani troops - including two officers. In the attack which
took place in the wee hours of Saturday, the other 40 soldiers posted there
were wounded. As a result, NATO supplies that pass through Pakistan were cut
off by the Pakistan government. The government found itself forced to take a
step it took last year when NATO helicopters killed two troops. Islamabad reversed
that decision after 10 days when NATO apologized. And back then, incidents like
the raid on Abbottabad [the killing of bin
Laden], the Raymond
Davis affair or Memogate
hadn't yet occurred. Not only are the casualties much higher this time and
involve officers of very high rank, but relations with the U.S. are bound to
worsen. Initial doubts about the location of the border don't suffice to
explain the incident, as the check post is no less than a mile and a half
inside the border.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
It would be a mistake for Islamabad
to even contemplate withdrawing the ban. It should also be noted that the
militants that the Americans hold responsible for tension in the region have been
fighting Pakistani armed forces because they are on the American side of the war
on terror. Meanwhile, the militants never have inflicted casualties on the
Americans like those Pakistan has suffered here in a single attack.
To allow U.S. or NATO apologies
to wash away their crimes as has occurred before, and therefore for NATO supplies
to be permitted to flow as usual, would be an error. To contemplate a
restoration would be to invite an even bigger disaster and would show that the
government doesn't care for the lives of its soldiers. The government has
already shown supreme indifference to the fate of its civilian citizens, but
such casualness toward its military would be unprecedented.
The halting of NATO supplies
should be the starting point for a logical next step: the swift disengagement
from America's so-called War on Terror. The government thinks that adhering to
the U.S. will allow it to continue in office, but it should disabuse itself of such
a notion. It is up to Pakistan to show that it regards the lives of its own
citizens with an importance equal to if not greater than some other nations.
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