Pakistan joins Nato probe into cross border attack
Pakistan has blocked the main land route for Nato convoys carrying supplies to neighbouring Afghanistan since the helicopter attack on Thursday, which Nato claimed was in self-defence but was condemned by Islamabad.
A two-member Pakistan team led by Brigadier Usman Khattak, deputy inspector general of the Frontier Corps, travelled to Afghanistan on Saturday to join an investigation into the incident by the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and US officials, an official told AFP by telephone.
Nato said aircraft had entered Pakistani airspace in self-defence and killed “several armed individuals” after the crews believed they had been fired at from the ground in the northwest tribal area of Kurram.
It was the fourth such strike in a week by Nato helicopters pursuing militants into Pakistan, which the military claimed killed three of its men and officials condemned as a breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty.
Brigadier Khattak had already visited the site of the attack and held talks with troops deployed in the area, the official said, requesting anonymity.
The border in Pakistan’s northwest, that routes Nato supplies through the Khyber pass at Torkham, remained closed for a fourth day on Sunday.
“We will review the position when the security situation is normalised,” the official said, adding that efforts were continuing to resolve the problem through negotiations.
Queues of more than 200 trucks and oil tankers have formed at the border as they wait to deliver supplies to the 152,000 foreign troops fighting a nine-year Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan.
“We are waiting for clearance from the customs authorities,” a driver at the border told AFP.
Washington has classified Pakistan’s tribal belt on the Afghan border as a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda, a hub of militants fighting in Afghanistan and the most dangerous place on Earth. – AFP