Pakistan reviews ties with US, NATO after attack

The Obama administration has pledged a full investigation into the NATO attack.

Last Updated: Nov 27, 2011, 10:30 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Islamabad: In the wake of a lethal strike by NATO forces on two military checkpoints inside Pakistani territory, Islamabad on Saturday vowed to reassess its ties with the United States, NATO and the International Security Assistance Force.

The incident marks a major setback in the worsening US-Pakistan ties.

"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, in the near future," Pakistani PM Yousuf Raza Gilani`s office said in a statement.

Pakistan has blocked vital supply routes for US-led troops in Afghanistan and demanded Washington vacate a base used by American drones after the attack killed 24 Pakistani troops.

The incident was a major blow to American efforts to rebuild an already tattered alliance vital to winding down the 10-year-old Afghan war. It was the latest in a series of setbacks to the alliance, often caused by border incidents.
The Obama administration has pledged a full investigation into the NATO attack.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta in a joint statement offered their "deepest condolences" for the loss of life in the cross-border incident in Pakistan. Hillary and Panetta also said they "support fully NATO`s intention to investigate immediately”.

Secretary Clinton, Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen John Allen, commander of the NATO-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, each called their Pakistani counterparts as well, the statement said.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter also met with Pakistani government officials in Islamabad.

Islamabad called the bloodshed in one of its tribal areas a "grave infringement" of the country`s sovereignty.

A NATO spokesman said it was likely that coalition airstrikes caused Pakistani casualties, but an investigation was being conducted to determine the details.

The relationship between Pakistan and the US has severely deteriorated over the last year, especially following the covert American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison town in May. Islamabad was outraged it wasn`t told about the operation beforehand.

The border issue is a major source of tension between Islamabad and Washington, which is committed to withdrawing its combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

(With Agencies’ inputs)