Pakistan Orders Mil To Fire At Americans, Planes
You might want to pay a bit of special attention to the following from The Associated Press.
Pakistan's military has ordered its forces to open fire if U.S. troops launch another air or ground raid across the Afghan border, an army spokesman said Tuesday.
The orders, which come in response to a highly unusual Sept. 3 ground attack by U.S. commandos, are certain to heighten tensions between Washington and a key ally against terrorism. Although the ground attack was rare, there have been repeated reports of U.S. drone aircraft striking militant targets, most recently on Sept. 12.
Pakistani officials warn that stepped-up cross-border raids will accomplish little while fueling violent religious extremism in nuclear-armed Pakistan. Some complain that the country is a scapegoat for the failure to stabilize Afghanistan.
Pakistan's civilian leaders, who have taken a hard line against Islamic militants since forcing Pervez Musharraf to resign as president last month, have insisted that Pakistan must resolve the dispute with Washington through diplomatic channels.
However, army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas told The Associated Press that after U.S. helicopters ferried troops into a militant stronghold in the South Waziristan tribal region, the military told field commanders to prevent any similar raids."The orders are clear," Abbas said in an interview. "In case it happens again in this form, that there is a very significant detection, which is very definite, no ambiguity, across the border, on ground or in the air: open fire."
Pakistan is approaching the clarity some within it desire, such as Nawaz Sharif and Hamid Gul.
We will be either forced to accept it as such or retreat from al-Qaeda.
The choice begins to appear clear, much to Pakistan's short and long term detriment. The clock ticks...
ADDED NOTE: Rules of Engagement (ROE) agreed to since 2001 have stated that US forces can cross into Pakistan up to 6 miles if they are in "hot pursuit" of retreating Taliban/al-Qaeda attackers. That appears out the window with this order. It should be, or should be treated as such by American forces. If not, then there will most assuredly be an event of 'confusion' and a very hot battle with disastrous results.
UPDATE: If Gen Abbas is trying to walk back his comments, he is not doing a very effective job of it.
But talking to Dawn, Maj-Gen Abbas downplayed the report and said there was nothing new about it. “Our policy is that we reserve the right to defend our soldiers and people against any incursion from across the border.”
He said he had been quoted out of context by the AP. He said he had been asked how would Pakistan retaliate. The answer was that it would be done by engaging those who violated the sovereignty of the country.He said that the engagement would mean opening fire if a similar raid was carried out.