Washington: As Pakistan fumed over aerial
attacks by NATO forces inside its territory that killed nearly
50 militants, the Pentagon has asserted that armed forces have
the right to self defence and that US followed the appropriate
protocol in the situation.
"The armed forces have the right to self defence. They
have been attacked and they respond and they notify Pakistani
government about it. We have protocols for us to communicate
with the Pakistani government," Pentagon spokesman Col Dave
Lapan told reporters yesterday when asked about the strong
protest from the Pakistanis in this regard.
"In accordance with the established protocol, we notify
the government of Pakistan of those engagements," Lapan said
adding that he does not have answers about the operational
engagement other than the basics.
However, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry in a statement
said these incidents are a clear violation and breach of the
UN mandate under which ISAF operates.
"The said mandate "terminates/finishes" at the
Afghanistan border. There are no agreed "hot pursuit" rules.
Any impression to the contrary is not factually correct. Such
violations are unacceptable," the statement said.
"ISAF/NATO has been asked not to participate in any
military action that violates the UN mandate and infringes
upon Pakistan?s sovereignty. In the absence of immediate
corrective measures, Pakistan will be constrained to consider
response options," Pakistan warned.
Noting that Pakistan has always emphasised the need for
coordinated and joint action against forces inimical to
regional and global peace, the statement said Pakistan has
boldly and at a great cost countered terrorists.
"Element of trust followed by capacity enhancement of
Pakistan’s armed forces was stressed. The demarche has been
relayed to NATO Headquarters in Brussels," it said.