Armed forces have right to self defence: Pentagon
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Last Updated: Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 11:20
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.


First Published: Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 11:20

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