Pak parliamentarians concerned about airspace violations by NATO

November 4th, 2010 - 1:57 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Nov 4(ANI): Pakistani parliamentarians have expressed serious concern about the violation of the country’s airspace near the Afghan border by NATO allied forces based in Afghanistan.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Raja Zafar-ul-Haq criticized the role of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government regarding the breach.

“The government has failed to defend the sovereignty of the country despite repeated airspace violations by NATO forces,” the Daily Times quoted Zafar-ul-Haq, as saying.

Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Abdul Ghafoor Haidri also expressed dismay over the government and its strategic military policies towards NATO and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

“If any agreement exists between NATO and Pakistan, then why does the government not produce it before the nation,” Haidri said.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms (PCCR), Raza Rabbani, demanded from the House to summon NATO officials to appear in the Foreign Office.

Rabbani was also of the opinion that if NATO does not support the issue, then Pakistan should use other options, including military retaliation.

Earlier, it was reported that despite assuring Pakistan of stopping further intrusions into its territory, NATO aircraft had once again breached the country’s border limits in Kurram Agency on Tuesday.

The helicopters allegedly entered about 600 meters inside Pakistani airspace, and after flying in the area for 10 minutes they returned back to Spin Boldak area in Afghanistan to their airbase.

It came weeks after three Pakistani army men were killed in an air strike by NATO helicopters at a military post, 200 metres inside the Pakistani border in Kurram Agency.

It was NATO’s fourth aerial violation of Pakistani territory in less than a week, but the first in which soldiers were killed.

Reacting to the incident, Pakistan had suspended supply convoys along the Khyber Pass route, which links Peshawar in Pakistan with Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, and lodged a protest with the NATO command in Brussels, demanding an apology.

The cross-border air strikes, seen by Pakistan as a violation of its territorial sovereignty, had sparked nationwide rumblings over the US-led incursions. (ANI)

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