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Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani is reconsidering the relationship between his country and the United States, he said in an exclusive interview with CNN. This decision comes after a NATO airstrike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
According to Time World a NATO sergeant from the U.S reported taking on fire from a Pakistani border checkpoint and returned fire in the form of an airstrike. Pakistan’s Director of Military Operations denied that any aggression was shown on the part of the Pakistan and called the airstrike “An unprovoked act of blatant aggression.” The question of who opened fire first is still unanswered.
When talking to CNN Gilani said he wants to continue a relationship with the United States that is based on mutual respect. When CNN asked if the U.S was showing respect he answered “at the moment no.”
“If I can’t protect the sovereignty of my country, how can we say that this is mutual respect and mutual interest?”
The Taliban in Pakistan urged the Prime Minister to retaliate. However retaliation could cause conflict with Afghanistan. Pakistan is part of a supply route into Afghanistan for the U.S and other allies.
In a phone interview with CNN, Taliban member Ihsanullah Ihsan said he believes that the U.S. will infringe on Pakistan’s sovereignty and continue operations on Pakistani soil in the coming days.
Ihsan also said Pakistan must respond to the NATO attacks, and he warned that the organization will continue their jihad as long as Pakistan remains an ally of the United States.
Pakistani military spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas denied the reports that Pakistani troops had prompted the attack by firing on the NATO helicopters. Speaking by phone to Pakistan’s Geo TV News, Abbas said NATO helicopters fired first on the Pakistani military checkpoints. (CNN).
Washington offered sympathy to Pakistan, although not an apology. Mark Toner the speaker for the State Department expressed Washington’s worry that this will cause a greater conflict between the U.S and Pakistan.
A report on the events claims Pakistan soldiers tried to open up communications with NATO to explain they were not Taliban or terrorists but there was no response.