Killing of Pakistani Soldiers: A Mistake or a Message?

Map of Pakistan with Balochistan higlighted
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According to recent reports, 24 Pakistani soldiers were allegedly killed by NATO airstrikes along the Pak-Afghan border. The Pakistani government, in retaliation, has blocked the two NATO supply routes and has also asked the US to vacate the CIA (drone)base in Balochistan.

This is a crucial moment for the so-called alliance between Pakistan and the US. So far, this alliance has only brought misery to Pakistani people and caused them to be immediate targets of Taliban and other militant reprisals. Pakistan so far has been the ideal soft target for the militants any time they are under pressure and want to lash out against targets close by. The Americans, on the other hand, might lose their troops in this war but their home country is safely away and thus not subject to such reprisals.

This latest bombing of Pakistani border posts should not be taken lightly: the general fog of war claims cannot hold here as the positions were known to NATO, as they have been provided the exact coordinates of Pakistani posts. If this is a sort of message to Pakistan, it is rather a sad and cynical message. What does it tell Pakistani people: simply that when cornered, the NATO troops have no qualms about killing the troops of their most important ally in the region.

I am glad to know that the Pakistani government is showing some courage here, as they have asked the US to vacate their base in Balochistan, but I think the government and the military need to do more. They need to clarify it to their so-called allies that killing of Pakistani soldiers and civilians cannot be tolerated especially if they turn out to be premeditated or caused by the carelessness of NATO forces.

The NATO commanders should learn that in their zeal to capture or kill their foes in Afghanistan, they cannot just blow up anything that stands in their way. Sometimes, it is necessary to let your enemy escape if bombing them kills quite a few of your friends in the process.

Yes, it is time Pakistan re-evaluated its committment to the war on terror and it is also time for the Pakistanis to safeguard their own people and their own national interest.

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    Peter Attwood November 27, 2011 at 4:05 am Reply

    It’s good to be clear on some things.

    There is no war on terror. Terror bombing civilian populations to force political changes to the bomber’s liking is terrorism by the Pentagon’s own definition; hence it’s a war of terror.

    Second, it’s amazing that Pakistanis have put up with this nonsense to this day. Can you imagine Americans putting up with a foreign force using an American airbase to randomly kill American civilians going about their business or having a backyard barbecue in their own homes? What kind of master race ideology makes Americans think there is anything normal about this, or lets anyone in Pakistan think that it should be tolerated for a moment. It seems to me that Pakistan, like any other country in such a situation, has to pursue genuine national independence, which means – like for any other country – not allowing an occupier to use its own bases to murder its own civilian population.

    • Masood Ashraf Raja
      Masood Ashraf Raja November 27, 2011 at 4:09 pm Reply

      I agree and thank you so much for sharing your candid thoughts with our readers.

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    Shaikh Muhammed Ali November 27, 2011 at 11:26 am Reply

    It is time that we bring a few black hawks down. Enough is enough!

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