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Pakistan: Reaction on NATO's Attack Killing 24 Pakistani Soldiers

November 26, 2011, marked the death of 24 Pakistani troops as a result of a heavy attack by NATO helicopters and fighter aircrafts on Pakistan Army's border posts in Mohmand Agency of FATA in Pakistan. No less than 13 troops were also injured in the mission.

Pakistan in response had protested and vowed to consider all possible options of retaliation. The attack is being condemned and protested against by politicians, journalists, religious organizations and members of the civil society ever since.

As initial reaction, Pakistan asked the US to vacate the Shamsi airbase and the fuel supply routes, which passes through Pakistan's two provinces Balochistan and Khyberpakhtunkhwa, were also blocked. As reported by Awais Raza at Pakistan Defence Blog:

Pakistan gave the US Fifteen days to leave the Shamsi airfield. It also announced that NATO supply routes into Afghanistan will be shut down. The move comes after NATO troops killed at least 26 Pakistani soldiers in two separate air strikes in Pakistan. The Shamsi airbase is used by the CIA to carry out secret operations in the Pakistani desert[..]

Official sources confirmed the suspension of supplies, adding that all containers were stopped at the Takhta Baig checkpost in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency.

Supporters of Jamat-e-Islami hold banners and shout anti-America slogans during a demonstration against NATO. Image by Bilawal Arbab. Copyright Demotix (2 December, 2011)

Supporters of Jamat-e-Islami hold banners and shout anti-America slogans during a demonstration against NATO. Image by Bilawal Arbab. Copyright Demotix (2 December, 2011)

Taking his rage out on the incident, Haris Hashmi of Pakistan Spectator blog writes:

It’s not a new thing if you jog your memory. It has happened before and perhaps will not stop here. It comes a little over a year after a similar but less deadly incident, in which U.S. helicopters accidentally killed two Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border, whom the pilots mistook for insurgents. Pakistan stopped NATO supplies and kept it suspended until US apologized. Perhaps that would be the end this time too.

Pakistani hackers on the other hand have found a way to protest and take their anger out by hacking the popular American websites as reported by Voice of Greyhat blog:

More than 50 websites hacked and defaced by Pak Cyber Combat Squad. All those sites belongs to NATO.

The blog also quotes the shockingly angry anti-democracy message from the hackers which is:

We can see that you are trying to free us from the tyrannical regime of dictators where we have freedom, and are replacing it with a so called democracy where the political parties are just legalized form of street gangs, You killed our children in the name of revolution, You bombed and destroyed our homes in the name of collateral damage and left many of us disabled.

Pasban party arranges a Pakistan Defense Rally against NATO attack in Karachi, Pakistan. Copyright Demotix. 3rd December 2011

Pasban party arranges a Pakistan Defense Rally against NATO attack in Karachi, Pakistan. Copyright Demotix. 3rd December 2011

Pakistan boycotted the Bonn peace conference in reaction to the events.

Paul Pillar of National Interest blog gives his accounts on the proceedings of the conference in these words:

The conference on Afghanistan that was just held in Bonn was underwhelming in its results, and it was no surprise that it was. The Pakistanis stayed away, the Iranians attended but were rather snippy, aid donors held back to see what other aid donors would do, and Afghan president Hamid Karzai painted a discouraging picture of what looked like indefinite dependence of his country on international largesse. The conference communique hardly broke any new ground.

In an analysis on the Bonn conference, Ishan Tharoor of Time blog says:

Such rhetoric may be a diplomatic non-starter now, yet it’s hard to imagine how much further U.S.-Pakistani ties could deteriorate after a year of rancor and acrimony. U.S. and Western officials at Bonn are now trying to downplay the implications of Pakistan’s boycott. Sadly for all involved, it seems the struggle over Afghanistan will continue to be measured out in blood on the battlefield and not papers shuffled in Bonn’s rarefied conference halls.

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