A raid gone wrong…
An engagement with NATO forces occurred on the 26 Nov 2011, it left 25 Pakistani troops dead on their own soil, the incident supposedly looks like a mistaken identity situation however has erupted fury within Pakistan. It again violates Pakistan’s territory/sovereignty and only recently this year was there a secret operation in Pakistani soil to kill Osama Bin Laden.
Tensions have been growing ever since U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen stated that Pakistan was playing a “double game”, with high level Pakistani political figures stating in response that the US could lose a key and vital ally in the region. Although the NATO coalition in Afghanistan, General John Allen has stated that the incident would see his “highest personal attention”, it seems that Pakistan has not taken too keenly in response. The NATO Secretary General has also come out in a statement and has said:
I offer my deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of the Pakistani officers and soldiers who lost their lives or were injured, and to the government and people of Pakistan, following the regrettable incident along the Afghan-Pakistani border.
I have written to the Prime Minister of Pakistan to make it clear that the deaths of Pakistani personnel are as unacceptable and deplorable as the deaths of Afghan and international personnel.
This was a tragic unintended incident. I fully support the ISAF investigation which is currently underway. We will determine what happened, and draw the right lessons.
NATO remains strongly committed to work with Pakistan to improve cooperation to avoid such tragedies in the future.
We have a joint interest in the fight against cross-border terrorism and in ensuring that Afghanistan does not once again become a safe haven for terrorists. NATO and Pakistan share a common goal: a stable Afghanistan in a peaceful region.?
However Pakistani authorities have halted supplies coming thorugh the Khyber Pass which supply over 100,000 NATO personnel in Afghanistan which occurred within hours of this attack taking place. The incident is said to have taken place in Mohmand, a tribal area in the North Western part of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. It is highly likely or similar to a situation which occurred previously which left 2 Pakistani soldiers dead when US/NATO helicopters followed Taliban militants across the border into Pakistan with what appeared to have been mistaken identity.
It could be said that this could very well play into the hands of the Taliban considering if the relationship with Pakistan totally fails then supplies to NATO personnel in Afghanistan are made tougher. – NATO do have other means such as flying supplies in or through other networks and have over the years tried to reduce reliance on anyone route according to one NATO source. However the war on terror, very much involves Pakistan and its commitment to helping NATO forces in Afghanistan, so worsening relations between the two won’t be good for obvious reasons.