Islamabad : The NATO attack that left over two dozen Pakistani soldiers dead smacks of the “arrogance of a superpower”, said a Pakistani daily. It noted that protests held around the country prove that the incident has already expanded the space for right-wing and anti-American viewpoints.
An editorial in the Dawn Tuesday said that despite some reports that the NATO strike Saturday may have been in self-defence, “the attack will continue to smack of the arrogance of a superpower until a joint investigation is allowed to establish the facts of the case”.
“Dismissing it as yet another mistake or instance of miscommunication, or simply expressing regret, will not satisfy Pakistanis in the light of such heavy troop casualties,” it added.
As many as 25 Pakistani soldiers were killed and 15 injured after NATO helicopters from Afghanistan attacked a border checkpost in Mohmand tribal region near the Afghan border early Saturday.
The editorial said there was going to be the predictable political fallout.
“Protests that have been held around the country prove that the incident has already expanded the space for right-wing and anti-American viewpoints that do not incorporate a realistic assessment of the importance of the relationship.
“It has also put the administration, already battling memogate and governance and corruption issues, under further pressure,” it said.
A secret memo sent to Washington said that President Asif Ali Zardari feared a military coup following the May 2 killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Pakistan’s ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani quit over the memo and former Sherry Rehman was appointed the new envoy. The incident is referred to as memogate.
The editorial describing the government’s prompt reaction to stop the passage of NATO supply through the country following the Saturday attack “as a smart move”.
The editorial went on to say that this is “all very worrying, given the one thing about US-Pakistan ties that is clear: maintaining a constructive or at least working relationship is crucial at this juncture”.