July 15, 2011
Several NATO fighter jets have violated Pakistani airspace, making low flights into the country’s troubled tribal northwestern regions.
Local sources say the aircraft crossed over into Pakistan’s Kurram Agency through the Afghan border and flew up to five-kilometers across the border.
They went over Pakistani territory for a few minutes before returning to Afghanistan.
NATO helicopters entered the same region last year, firing several rockets that killed three Pakistani soldiers.
The incident forced Islamabad to close-off the NATO supply route that traverses Pakistan, suspending the delivery of goods to foreign troops in Afghanistan.
Tensions between the two countries increased following a secret US raid on Pakistan in May that allegedly killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Some White House officials suggest that Islamabad was aware of bin Laden’s location.
Anti-US sentiments have grown among the Pakistani government and public since the raid.
A surge in unauthorized US drone attacks in Pakistan and NATO operations along the border has sparked criticism from Pakistani officials.
Pakistan also strongly condemned the violation of its airspace by US-led forces stationed in Afghanistan.
Washington claims the airstrikes target militants but most of the attacks result in civilian casualties.
The US invaded Afghanistan with the official objective of curbing militancy and bringing peace and stability to the region, however, after nine years the region remains unstable and militancy has expanded towards Pakistan.
This article was posted: Friday, July 15, 2011 at 8:21 am