Nov 29 2011

US-Pakistan Relations Hit Low Point After Fatal Air Strikes

The Pakistani government has decided to permanently cut off NATO’s supply route for its Afghanistan war effort after US air strikes killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers near the border over the weekend. It is not yet clear what the move will do to the American war effort – nearly half of all war supplies for the almost 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan go through Pakistan. The US’s South Asian ally has also given US troops a 2 week deadline to vacate a base used by the CIA to launch unmanned drone strikes in the North West Frontier Province. A third potential casualty of the attacks is Pakistan’s threat to suspend its role in talks between the US, Afghanistan, the Taliban, and Pakistani militant groups. The US strikes in question were aimed at two Pakistani observation posts in the Mohmand tribal area. NATO is claiming that the weekend’s fatalities were caused by a response to a shot from the Pakistani border bases. But Pakistani officials denied those claims saying that the US attack was unprovoked and that their military installations were clearly marked. The Los Angeles Times reported that “Pakistan’s army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said the Pakistani military tried to alert coalition forces that their gunships were firing on Pakistani army posts, but the attack continued.” The deaths of the soldiers have touched off a nerve among the Pakistani public who have become increasingly skeptical of their nation’s relationship with the US. Pakistan’s leading English language newspaper The Daily Times editorialized that: “U.S. and NATO forces have routinely made it a matter of policy to do as they please and then apologize and move on.” Pakistani officials have tallied more than 70 Pakistani troop casualties as a result of US strikes over the past three years. Civilian casualties of the strikes are even greater in number. White House spokesman Jay Carney on Monday called the attacks a “tragedy” and pledged an investigation.

GUEST: Fred Branfman, independent journalist and author of over a dozen articles on the dangers to US security posed by the US’s actions in Pakistan. His work regularly appears in Alternet, Truthdig, and Salon. He joins us now from Budapest.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “US-Pakistan Relations Hit Low Point After Fatal Air Strikes”

  1. Dan Buskirkon 29 Nov 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Number one complaint about your website: Can’t see who the guest is without clicking the “read More” link. Otherwise, stellar reporting.

  2. Krishnaon 29 Nov 2011 at 5:04 pm

    US and NATO work on their own self-interests and not concerned about the value of human life in any other country. They consider the people i Asia and Africa as disposable goods -not worth more than a cent. Pakistan should not rely on US and seek its help-even for improving its relationship with India.Pakistani Politicians want US /UK friendship for running away from their country in case of trouble- so that US/UK can help in their exile. Common people are thus considered disposable!
    This is sad since no Pakistani politician genuinely love their country.

  3. husain umaron 17 Dec 2011 at 10:57 pm

    I totally agree with Krishna. To maintain the economic superiority
    the western world creates wars US being the leader. Iraq for oil,
    Afghanistan to retard progress in India, China, Iran Even Pakistan. It is time that Pakistan and India settle their diffrences
    and by doing so the could become a power to recon with that would shy away the adventurers from Indian subcontinent. There are just as many muslims are in India as in Pakistan so why Kashmiri muslims can not be part of India. I think a little common sense can a long way.