Saturday, November 26, 2011

StupidiNews Focus: Keep Your Friends Close, Keep Pakistan Closer

Pakistan is pretty pissed off right now as a NATO gunship assault on a border checkpoint near Afghanistan has resulted in at least 26 dead Pakistani soldiers so far.
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has called an emergency meeting of military services chiefs to formulate his country's response, his spokesman said. The Defense Committee of the Cabinet will meet later Saturday.
In a statement, Gilani said he "strongly condemned the NATO/ISAF attack on the Pakistani" checkpoint.
The matter is being taken up by the Foreign Ministry "in the strongest possible terms" with NATO and the United States, the statement from his office said.
NATO's commander in Afghanistan said he is committed to a thorough investigation.

Yeah, this isn't good in any way.  Pakistan has already closed supply routes for NATO convoys through the country and that's just for starters, all this happening less than 48 hours or so after another NATO airstrike supposedly killed seven civilians in Afghanistan.  It looks like NATO troops were performing a cross-border raid from Afghanistan, chasing insurgents into Pakistan when the incident took place.  Pakistan's military is calling this an "unprovoked attack" on Pakistan's "sovereignty" and at this point it's still unclear just exactly what happened.  It's hard to imagine things getting too much worse:

"I think we should go to the United Nations Security Council against this," said retired Brigadier Mahmood Shah, former chief of security in the tribal areas. "So far, Pakistan is being blamed for all that is happening in Afghanistan, and Pakistan's point of view has not been shown in the international media."
Other analysts, including Rustam Shah Mohmand, a former ambassador to Afghanistan, said Pakistan would protest and close the supply lines for some time, but that ultimately "things will get back to normal."
Paul Beaver, a British security analyst, said relations were so bad that this incident might have no noticeable impact.
"I'm not sure U.S.-Pakistan relations could sink much lower than they are now," he said.

President Obama's foreign policy has been excellent so far, but this is going to require some kid gloves.  We'll see what the State Department has to say in response.

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