Spearhead Analysis—28.11.


‘The assumption that it (Pakistan) has no choice but to obey America may turn out to be a dire strategic error’
Simon Tisdall in The Guardian, November 27,2011 In the early hours of the first day of the Islamic New Year US/NATO forces struck a clearly demarcated Pakistani Check Post in the Mohmand Agency of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal areas. Two officers of the Pakistan Army and 22 soldiers were killed with another 13 seriously injured. The strikes, which Pakistani officials said had involved both helicopters and fighter jets, took place at two military posts in Salala, a village in Pakistan's Mohmand tribal region near the border with Kunar province in Afghanistan. At least 40 soldiers were deployed at the posts, which according to Pakistani officials were established to repulse attacks by Afghan militants and the Taliban. Pakistani military officials said NATO aircraft had penetrated roughly 2.4 kilometers into Pakistan to make the strikes. A NATO spokesman, Brigadier General Jacobson, offered details suggesting that allied and Afghan troops operating near the border came under fire from unknown enemies and summoned coalition warplanes for help. This is what he said, ''In the early night hours of this morning (Saturday, local time), a force consisting of Afghan forces and coalition forces, in the eastern border area where the Durand Line [the colonial boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan] is not always 100-per cent clear, got involved in a firefight,'' Jacobson said, according to a transcript of his statements on NATO TV. Air force was called in into this activity and we have to look into this situation of what actually happened on the ground.'' Speaking to Pakistan TV Jacobsen refused to tender an apology but did regret the attack and also refused to give a deadline as to when an investigation could be concluded implying that this could take time. Jacobsen also implied that the interruption of NATO logistics would not pose a problem. In his comments Jacobsen has tried to indicate the contours of a possible NATO explanation---‘fire from unknown enemies, response to calls for close air support from Afghan National Security Forces, firefight, Durand Line not clear in the area, investigation at different tiers takes time etc” Pakistan has, however, clearly stated that the attack was without any provocation from the Pakistan side and that it was delivered after violation of Pakistani airspace from Afghanistan and that it was on a easily identified and accepted check post on the Pakistani side of the Durand Line. NATO / US have not indicated why an operation close to the border at night was being carried out without coordination with the Pakistani check post in the vicinity.

The DCC reiterated the resolve of the Pakistani people and Armed Forces to safeguard Pakistan’s sovereignty. Services Chiefs and members of the DCC attended.had met and considered response options. Their pronouncements are worthless. 26 November 2011 was clear and unambiguous: “An emergency meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet was chaired by the Prime Minister this evening at the Prime Minister’s House. for this latest outrage is another fateful signpost on the road to a potential security and geostrategic disaster that may ultimately make Afghanistan look like a sideshow------since 2001. demarches and impositions that are at once politically indefensible and contrary to the perceived national interest---the last year has been another humiliating one at the hands of the country's principal ally---Pakistanis have looked on impotently as US Special Forces flouted its sovereignty and killed Osama bin Laden under the army's nose. as the US stepped up drone terror attacks in Pakistani territory despite repeated protests.Commenting on the incident in The Guardian of November 27 Simon Tisdall wrote —“but Washington should treat it with deadly seriousness all the same. were violative of international law and had gravely dented the fundamental basis of Pakistan’s cooperation with NATO/ISAF against militancy and terror. The DCC expressed heartfelt sympathies and condolences to families of the brave soldiers who fought valiantly and embraced Shahadat(martyrdom). The statement issued by the DCC on the NATO/ISAF attack on border posts.Hillary Clinton and the Pentagon top brass have responded to Saturday's killing with the usual expressions of regret and of determination to "investigate". Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. independence and territorial integrity at all costs. and as people-pleasing US senators and Republican presidential candidates have taken to picking on Pakistan and its aid bill in uninformed foreign policy rants--. The DCC strongly condemned the attack by NATO/ISAF aircrafts on Pakistani border posts in the Mohmand Agency which has resulted in the loss of precious lives of officers and men of Pakistan Army and injuries to several. Federal Ministers. and also prayed for the early recovery of those injured. when the Bush administration bluntly told Islamabad it must take sides. without formally admitting responsibility. NATO/ISAF attacks were also . be either "for us or against us" in the newly declared "war on terror". Pakistan’s response to the attack on its troops came after the Army Chief had consulted and briefed senior commanders and the nations highest decision making body –the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC)-. divided Pakistan has no alternative but to slavishly obey its master's voice could turn out to be one of the seminal strategic miscalculations of the 21st century”. impoverished. The DCC noted that strong protests had been lodged with the United States and at NATO Headquarters in Brussels conveying in the strongest possible terms Pakistan’s condemnation of these attacks which constituted breach of sovereignty. Pakistan has struggled under a plethora of imperious American demands. transparently so----the belief that weak.

violative of their mandate which was confined to Afghanistan. ‘A new Pakistan policy: Containment’.. political. on 17 October 2011. Ground operations in the vicinity of allied or friendly forces are always coordinated in advance. the DCC decided to close with immediate effect the NATO/ISAF logistics supply lines The DCC also decided to ask the US to vacate the Shamsi Airbase within 15 days. There is outrage and anger in Pakistan as Pakistanis watch heart rending scenes of grief at the funerals of those killed. in the near future. Bruce Riedel opined that.We must contain the Pakistan Army’s ambition until civilian rule returns and Pakistanis set a new direction for their foreign policy”. Close air support. activities and cooperative arrangements with US/NATO/ISAF. You do not call for air support against small arms fire assuming that there was a fire fight at all. reported that “Pakistan is next on the target list of nations that will soon be feeling the military muscle of the United States. Iraq. In his op-ed piece.. “America needs a new policy for dealing with Pakistan. Pakistan had clearly conveyed to US/NATO/ISAF its red lines which constituted an integral element of Pakistan’s cooperation that was based on a partnership approach.. Pakistanis are used to burying their dead and the Pakistan military is paying a heavy price but to be killed by those you consider allies and that too in your own territory is not acceptable. Yemen. recent media articles targeting the Pakistan military and ISI and of course the most recent event now being called ‘memo gate’.. First. including Afghanistan. Much will depend on how the US and NATO decide to proceed in this matter. the Osama raid. not in harmony. The DCC decided that the Government will revisit and undertake a complete review of all programmes.unlike other Muslim nations that have been subjected to the US military intervention. Wayne Madsen. Friendly fire can kill own troops in the fog of ongoing battles but not in an isolated case where the rugged terrain actually makes check posts stand out and act as reference points—especially check posts established to control cross border . is provided to extricate ground troops from an undesirable situation or to take out a high value target identified by ground troops or other means or to push forward an attack as part of a coordinated plan. the supposed reason for the attack.. Pakistan’s ultimate prize for the West is its nuclear weapons arsenal…” Another media piece dubbed Pakistan the ‘ally from hell’. and will remain that way as long as Pakistan’s army controls the strategic policies. and Libya. the Raymond Davis fiasco. Air attacks are always on clearly identified targets. The attack on Pakistan Army border posts is totally unacceptable and warrants an effective national response. carried by ‘International Herald Tribune’. including diplomatic. the generals who run Pakistan think time is on their side—that NATO is doomed to give up in Afghanistan.. In accordance with the resolution of the Joint Session of the Parliament of 14 May 2011. The Prime Minister will take the Parliament into confidence on the whole range of measures regarding matters relating to Pakistan’s future cooperation with US/NATO/ISAF. and military and intelligence. Somalia.. we must recognize that the two countries’ strategic interests are in conflict.” Pakistanis cannot help but recall earlier incidents---the attacks in September 2010.

movement. A joint investigation may lead to the answers but what has been done cannot be undone. Strategic talks already interrupted cannot deliver unless this event is out of the way—--nor will track two interactions help at this stage. (Spearhead Analyses are a collaborative effort and not attributable to a single individual) www. As the DCC statement has clearly stated Pakistan has to review its response options and it does not actually have to declare the chosen option. and it has to review the entire spectrum of its relationship with the US.spearheadresearch. Perhaps a more balanced relationship will finally emerge but the message for Pakistan from this incident is clear—--ALL its institutions must come together to develop internal strength and nothing should distract Pakistan from this goal.org .

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