Yet another incident has taken place at the borders where two US helicopters crossed in to Pakistani territory in North Waziristan despite the strong stance taken by the Pakistan Army against further border incursions.
The latest exchange came after the helicopters crossed the border from Afghanistan. U.S. military officials however stated that the helicopters were in Afghan air space the whole time. Yet another claim surfaced from United States that the helicopter, a U.S. Army OH-58D Kiowas, was in fact providing ground cover to a small contingent of US Army troops on a border patrol with Afghan Police.
The U.S. State Department said it was awaiting the results of an investigation of the incident by Pakistan and deemed the shooting incident as troubling.
Pakistani Military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas brushed aside US’s statement as some thing that didn’t make sense at all.
Two helicopters crossed into our territory in North Waziristan. They passed over our border checkpost, so our troops fired warning shots. The helicopters returned fire and then went back across the border into Afghanistan.
President Asif Ali Zardari stated that the warning shots fired by Pakistani Armed Forces were in fact flares with the intention to let the copters know that they have crossed in to the border. He stressed that the shots did not carry any hostile intent what so ever.
The ever so increasing incidents of visible US interventions in to Pakistan is a disturbing sign. At times it even looks like the United States is inciting Pakistani Armed Forces and the tribesmen on purpose to build a case against extensive firing on their men and machines. Moreover, it is only a matter of time whereby terrorists see this as yet another golden opportunity to further damage the Pak-US relations. US copters could be attacked by the enemy from within the Pakistani borders even though they might not have crossed the border. A string of accusations and denials will follow from Washington and Islamabad and would surely dampen relations.
The United States must understand and realize the fragility of the situation. An ugly confrontation could easily be avoided if US forces would restrain themselves and let Pakistani military do its job in Pakistan.
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