Pakistan army chief blasts US border raids

Pakistan’s army chief harshly criticized the US military for making unilateral cross-border raids from Afghanistan Sept. 12. Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, Chief of Army Staff, said there was “no agreement or understanding with the coalition forces whereby they are allowed to conduct operations on our side of the border.” Pakistan would defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity “at all costs,” he said.

The statement followed revelations this week that President Bush had approved US special forces incursions into Pakistan in July—without the Pakistan’s approval—and comments by the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, who told Congress that a new cross-border strategy was needed to wipe out al-Qaeda “safe havens” in Pakistan. (London Times, Sept. 12)

See our last posts on Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  1. Pakistan: US drone kills 12
    Two missiles fired from remotely piloted US aircraft killed 12 people Sept. 12 in an attack on a compound in Tole Khel village, just east of Miran Shah, North Waziristan, according to a local reports. The strike was apparently aimed at the home of a local tribesman, Yousaf Khan Wazir, who was among the dead. A Pakistani intelligence official said most of the dead in the attack were “Punjabi Taliban,” meaning militants from the Pakistan’s Punjab province. The target was said to be a militant training camp, but the dead included women and children, according to residents. There was no immediate word on the attack from the US or Pakistani authorities. Pakistan’s military did report continued fighting along the Afghan border that day, with 32 militants and two soldiers killed. (NYT, Sept. 12)

  2. Pakistan: US drone kills six
    A US missile strike on a compound supposedly used by Hizb-e-Islami militants in Baghar Cheena, South Waziristan, killed at least six people and wounded three others Sept. 17. Baghar Cheena is the stronghold of Taliban commander Maulvi Nazeer, but it was not immediately clear whether he was in the area at the time of the strike.

    The attack came hours after US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen told Pakistani leaders that Washington respects Pakistan’s sovereignty, amid a mounting tension over cross-border strikes by the US. (Daily Times, Pakistan, Sept. 18)