Pakistan condemned a US airstrike within the country near its border with Afghanistan that officials claimed resulted in the deaths of 11 Pakistani soldiers. The Pakistani government called the incident a “major setback to our relations with the US” and an ambassador from a NATO member nation warned that “Pakistan is already treading a thin line between domestic opinion largely opposed to the US and the Pakistan government’s pro-US position.”
Pakistani Prime Minister told the parliament, “We will take a stand for the sake of this country’s sovereignty, for the sake of its dignity and self-respect… We do not allow our territory to be used. We completely condemn this, and will take it up through the foreign office.”
Pakistan’s military called it a “completely unprovoked and cowardly act.”
BBC News interviewed a relative of a boy wounded in the attack who described what happened: “Pakistan army soldiers were there on duty…when US personnel surrounded them and the tribe. They started firing on them and on us, so the…tribe and Pakistan soldiers fought back. The US forces ran away, then suddenly aircraft came and started bombing. That’s why so many people were killed or injured.”
The US insisted the attacks were “legitimate” and released video footage from a Predator drone it says shows US forces coming under attack from “anti-Afghan forces” Defense Department press secretary Geoff Morrell said, “Every indication we have is that this was a legitimate strike against forces that had attacked members of the coalition.”
Pakistan lodged a diplomatic protest at the US embassy, which issued a statement that read, “The United States regrets that actions…on the night of June 10 resulted in the reported casualties among Pakistani forces who are our partners in the fight against terrorism.”
State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said the US regretted the loss of lives, but that “our troops were defending themselves from a hostile act, which they have a right to do.”
That this “hostile act” which the US has a “right” to “defend” itself against occurred in Pakistan is apparently irrelevant, the acting assumption being that the US owns the world and may thus do as it pleases. Thus, even when US forces have invaded the territory of foreign sovereign nations, any actions on their part are “self-defense”.