Sunday, Sept 13, 2008
Pakistan has ordered its jet fighters to confront any attack by the US-led coalition forces on the tribal belt near the Afghan border.
Air force fighters have carried out sorties in the tribal region for the first time after US missiles attacks killed dozens of civilians, sources said on Saturday.
Air Force Chief Marshal Tanvir Mehmood, meanwhile, said that the Air Force could respond to violation of the country’s air space by the US forces if the government issued orders.
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Tribal elders and witnesses in Miranshah told local news networks that they had seen Pakistani fighter planes hovering over North Waziristan. They had also seen warplanes flying towards the Afghan border area.
Earlier, Pakistan’s army chief General Ashfaq Kayani issued a harshly-worded statement, criticizing cross-border attacks by the coalition forces from Afghanistan and vowing to defend the country “at all cost”.
The Air Force’s decision followed bloody incursions by the US ground troops into the tribal belt as well as a string of missile strikes by US-operated drone aircrafts.
The reaction comes after US President George W. Bush endorsed US military raids inside Pakistan without Islamabad’s agreement.
This article was posted: Sunday, September 14, 2008 at 4:09 am