Do it again and we’re done, Army warns US

Gen Ashfaq Parvez kayani, army chief

The Pakistan Army on Thursday admitted its “shortcomings” in efforts to locate al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, but also warned the United States against any future unilateral action violating Pakistan’s sovereignty, saying it would warrant review of the level of military and intelligence cooperation with the US.
In the 138th Corps Commanders’ meeting, chaired by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the top military brass was informed about the important decision to reduce the strength of US military personnel in Pakistan to the minimum essential levels, according to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement issued after the meeting.
The army command also warned India against any misadventure on the pattern of the US operation, saying it would induce a very strong response. The statement on Thursday by the army is the first since the US raid on Monday in Abbottabad that killed the al Qaeda chief. It said that the US operation was the only item on the meeting’s agenda. “The forum discussed the incident and its implications and on military-to-military relations with the United States,” the statement said.
The army has been criticised for its inability to locate bin Laden in a large compound in an army town not far from the capital Islamabad, with some in the country belying its claim of being kept in the dark by the US regarding the operation by its Navy SEALs to kill Osama. The meeting, taking serious note of the assertions made by the Indian military leadership about conducting similar operations, made it very clear that any misadventure of this kind would be responded to very strongly.
“There should be no doubt about it,” the statement said. The forum reiterated the resolve to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan and to fight the menace of terrorism, with the support and help of the people of Pakistan. A few hours before the ISPR statement, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, at a press conference here at the Foreign Office, also warned America of “disastrous consequences” if it carried out any more raids against terrorists similar to the operation in Abbottabad that killed bin Laden.
He also hit back at international allegations that Pakistan may have been harboring bin Laden. To a question, however, the foreign secretary declined to say whether the US raid was an illegal act and violation of international law. He said relations between Pakistan and the US remained on course. Bashir also reprimanded India for recent remarks by its army and air force chiefs that if needed, they would be able to deliver an operation similar to the one that killed Osama, in order to nab those wanted for the Mumbai attacks.
“Any other country that would ever act on assumption that it has the right to unilateralism of any sort will find, as far as Pakistan is concerned, that it has made a basic mistake,” said Bashir. “We see a lot of bravado in our own region. There are statements that have come across, from the military, the air force that state that this can be repeated. We feel that sort of misadventure would result in a terrible catastrophe,” he said. “While admitting shortcomings in developing intelligence on the presence of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, it was highlighted that the achievements of ISI against al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates in Pakistan, have no parallel,” said the ISPR statement.
The meeting was informed that around 100 top-level al Qaeda leaders and operators were killed or arrested by the ISI, with or without the support of the CIA. “However, in the case of bin Laden, while the CIA developed intelligence based on initial information provided by ISI, it did not share further development of intelligence on the case with ISI, contrary to the existing practice between the two services. Nonetheless, an investigation has been ordered into the circumstances that led to this situation,” the statement said.
“As regards the possibility of similar hostile action against our strategic assets, the forum reaffirmed that, unlike an undefended civilian compound, our strategic assets are well protected and an elaborate defensive mechanism is in place,” the statement said.
Bashir reiterated that Pakistan did not know anything about the raid until it was too late to stop it. He said the army scrambled two F-16 fighter jets when it became aware of foreign helicopters hovering over the city of Abbottabad.
He also said it was absolutely wrong to blame the ISI. “After all, there was information within the US system about those who were ultimately, eventually responsible for the 9/11 (attacks). So it’s not for me to say that the US government or the CIA failed to prevent that,” he said. On the CIA chief’s comments that the ISI was either guilty of complicity or incompetent, he said: “Such statements continue to surface and resurface and are aimed at pressurising Pakistan to do more. This is a false and hypothetic allegation contrary to what the ISI has been able to accomplish.”
Pakistan’s prerogative: Commenting on Pakistan’s military’s demand for reduction in US troops, Admiral Mike Mullen said in Washington it was up to Pakistan’s leaders if they wanted American troops to remain in the country. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “has repeatedly noted that the small number of US military trainers in Pakistan are there at the invitation of the Pakistani government, and therefore subject to that government’s prerogatives,” his spokesman, Captain John Kirby, said in an email to AFP.
Mullen had not been notified of any decision by Pakistan on the presence of the US contingent of trainers, his spokesman said.

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3 Comments

  1. Jamaludin Mohammadi said:

    Thank you General for boosting up national lowest morale.Let your and other security agencies in civil ridden by rampant corruption also play their role.Our basic problem is unprecedentedly escalating corruption in last years and the devilish politicking of 'kursi and horrendous corruption' of rulers which has made nation and everyplace' and keeps engaged in newer and newer issues.For six months a egomaniac,half Britisher,half Pakistan,an ca criminal absconder, responsible for thousand of target killings in Karachi,billion of dollars bathakhori,proven bt Interior minister of Sind was freely allowed to speak live from his London headquarters,
    inciting treason,mutiny,rebellion in jawans and generals openly under the watch of his mentors,PPP-Zardari which had bamboozled nation letting everything going haywire in state appratus.'KURSI AND PAISA'is the only prioity of PPP-,MQM,ANP,MLQ which has ruined nation and the 'gogooghara' idiots MLN.
    Dear General keep your powders dry forty eight hours a day and,bow to Allah and TRUST HIM.GOD BLESS YOU AND GOD BLESS PAKISTAN.AMIN1

  2. guest said:

    The only bones this army can break are the bones of its citizens; which is what they did when Musharaff came in. "Next time" will start the beginning of the "next time" and the "next time". Ironic as it seems US marines had a safe house in Kakul from where they filmed OBL. Over 60 years on they are unable to radar the borders adequately. Their excuses never end. Their head never roll.

  3. Ragil said:

    I hope everyone understands the seriousness consequences of breaking this relationship between the US and Pakistan. If Pakistan kicks out the US from the country and allows militant groups to plan and launch attacks from Pakistani soil. Then we are only inviting the US military to invade Pakistan when the next 9/11 style terrorist attack happens in the US. Don't think nukes will keep us safe. The US will have no choice but to invade our country and they will without hesitation.

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