Pakistan protests to NATO over border air raid

June 13th, 2008 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, June 13 (DPA) Pakistan has protested to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) over the “unprovoked and senseless” airstrike Tuesday that killed 11 of its soldiers deployed at a post along the Afghan border. According to an official statement issued late Thursday, the protest was lodged by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during his meeting with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on the sidelines of Paris conference on Afghanistan.

“The attack is a blatant and willful negation of the sacrifices Pakistan has made in the war against terrorism,” the statement quoted Qureshi as saying.

The Pakistani border post came under fire in the remote tribal district of Mohmand Agency late Tuesday when US planes targeted Taliban fighters fleeing after an attack on Afghan and NATO forces.

Eleven personnel from paramilitary Frontier Corps were killed and 13 were injured. According to the Taliban’s claim, eight of their comrades also died in the airstrike that fuelled anger in Pakistan.

Sheffer regretted the incident and said an inquiry was being held in it.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has offered Pakistan to join an investigation into the air raid.

“We’ve invited the Afghans and the Pakistanis to be part of the investigation. Pakistan is an incredibly important partner for us in this war on terror,” he said in a statement Thursday.

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