– Pakistan Border Troops Free to Retaliate If Attacked, Dawn Says (Bloomberg, Dec 2, 2011):
Pakistan’s army chief, General Parvez Ashfaq Kayani, has told his troops they can respond to any future attacks by NATO or U.S. forces without waiting for orders from senior officers, the Dawn newspaper reported.
Kayani directed his soldiers to retaliate against any act of aggression with full force regardless of the cost and consequences, the report said, citing a message drafted by Kayani for troops. NATO helicopters based in Afghanistan killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in an attack on border posts Nov. 25. The U.S.-led force is investigating the incident.
– Pak army chief gives ‘full liberty’ to troops to retaliate future NATO attacks (Times of India, Dec 2, 2011):
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has given his troops “full liberty” to respond to any further cross-border attacks by NATO forces in Afghanistan in the wake of an air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, according to official sources.
The powerful army chief told commanders of units deployed along the western border with Afghanistan that they had “full liberty of action to respond (by) employing all capabilities” available at their disposal, the sources said.
Kayani was quoted by the sources as saying that there should be “no ambiguity in the rules of engagement for everyone down the chain of command” if they faced an attack by NATO forces.
Such an action would “require no clearance at any level” and the army would “provide resources as required on ground”, he was quoted as saying.
Following Saturday’s air strike on two military border posts in Mohmand Agency that killed 24 soldiers, Pakistan closed all NATO supply routes and asked the US to vacate Shamsi airbase, reportedly used by CIA-operated drones.
Pakistan also decided to boycott the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan to protest the attack.
The sources said Kayani had described the NATO attack as a “blatant act of aggression” that was “unacceptable”.
The army chief said he had issued directions that “any act of aggression” would be responded to with “full force, regardless of the cost and consequences”.
– Pakistan to retaliate future NATO raids (Press TV, Dec 2, 2011):
Pakistani top military official has ordered the country’s army to respond firmly to any future act of aggression following the NATO airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops over the weekend, Press TV reports.
Pakistan’s Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said on Thursday that Pakistani troops will counter any attack on the country’s soil with full force.
He also ordered the Pakistani army to make the necessary arrangements for retaliatory measures, and told them not to wait for any orders from the government to give a crushing response to the aggressors, disregarding the potential consequences.
NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military border posts in northwest Pakistan on November 26, killing two dozen Pakistani troops.
Enraged by the attack, Pakistan closed the border crossings that the Western military alliance uses to transfer fuel and other supplies for foreign forces into landlocked Afghanistan. It also called on the United States to vacate Shamsi Air Base in Balochistan province.
The US military reportedly uses the remote desert outpost as a hub to launch assassination drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Pakistan had previously told the United States to leave the controversial airbase in June.
Furthermore, Pakistan announced it would not participate in an international conference on Afghanistan in Germany next week in a show of anger over the deadly NATO strike.
Meanwhile, the Islamabad government warned on Thursday that it could withdraw its support for the US-led war on terrorism if Pakistan’s sovereignty is violated again.
“Enough is enough. The government will not tolerate any incident of spilling even a single drop of any civilian or soldier’s blood,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told a Senate committee on foreign affairs.
“Pakistan’s role in the war on terror must not be overlooked,” she noted.
Germany’s ‘Handelsblatt’ writes:
Pakistan Threatens NATO With Retaliation (Handelsblatt/DPA, Dec 2, 2011):
Pakistan has threatened after the accidental attack on a Pakistani post of NATO retaliation. In case of repetition units are likely to return fire, senior military officials are quoted as saying.
IslamabadNach the NATO bombardment of Pakistani military posts, the army leadership of the country threatened the international forces for the case of recurrence, according to a media report about retribution. Army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was the commanders in the region bordering Afghanistan granted permission to respond in the event of a renewed NATO attack the fire, reported the newspaper “Express Tribune” on Friday, citing senior military circles. At the NATO attack in the Mohmand tribal region last Saturday, 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed.
According to a military expert quoted by the newspaper, the directive means that local commanders can independently respond to “enemy movements” on Pakistani territory, without having to consult a higher office must.
The attack by U.S. helicopters on the military post has burdened the tense relations between Pakistan and the USA massively. In protest against the incident Islamabad has canceled his participation in the Afghanistan conference in Bonn next Monday. In addition, the government has cut the key supply route for NATO troops in Afghanistan through Pakistan and prompted the U.S. Army to vacate an air base in the southwest of the country.
– Pakistan droht Nato mit Vergeltung (Handelsblatt/DPA, Dec 2, 2011):
Pakistan hat nach dem versehentlichen Angriff auf einen pakistanischen Posten der Nato mit Vergeltung gedroht. Im Wiederholungsfall dürften die Einheiten das Feuer erwidern, werden ranghohe Militärs zitiert.
IslamabadNach dem Nato-Beschuss pakistanischer Militärposten hat die Armeeführung des Landes den internationalen Truppen für den Wiederholungsfall einem Medienbericht zufolge mit Vergeltungsmaßnahmen gedroht. Armeechef Ashfaq Parvez Kayani habe den Kommandeuren im Grenzgebiet zu Afghanistan die Erlaubnis erteilt, im Fall eines erneuten Nato-Angriffs das Feuer zu erwidern, berichtete die Zeitung „Express Tribune“ am Freitag unter Berufung auf ranghohe Militärkreise. Bei dem Nato-Angriff im Stammesgebiet Mohmand waren vergangenen Samstag 24 pakistanische Soldaten getötet worden.
Nach Ansicht eines von der Zeitung zitierten Militärexperten bedeutet die Direktive, dass die örtlichen Kommandeure selbstständig auf „feindliche Bewegungen“ auf pakistanischem Staatsgebiet reagieren können, ohne vorher eine höhere Dienststelle konsultieren zu müssen.
Der Angriff von US-Hubschraubern auf den Militärposten hat die angespannten Beziehungen zwischen Pakistan und den USA weiter massiv belastet. Aus Protest gegen den Vorfall hat Islamabad seine Teilnahme an der Afghanistan-Konferenz am kommenden Montag in Bonn abgesagt. Zudem hat die Regierung die wichtige Nachschubroute für die Nato-Truppen in Afghanistan durch Pakistan gekappt und die US-Armee aufgefordert, eine Luftwaffenbasis im Südwesten des Landes zu räumen.