(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Pakistani troops fired at American reconnaissance helicopters patrolling the Afghan-Pakistan border Thursday, heightening tensions as U.S. steps up cross-border operations in a region known as a haven for Taliban and al-Qaida militants.
The Pakistani army has put a message that their troops have orders not to fire.
Here is the PM (from the US allied PPP):
“We will not tolerate any act against our sovereignty and integrity in the name of the war against terrorism,” Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told journalists Wednesday. “We are fighting extremism and terror not for any another country, but our own country. This is our own war.”
That could be interpreted as simply grandstanding and a wink-wink deal behind closed doors where the Pakistani leadership has signed off on US/NATO incursions (if only aerial) into their land. But it again makes clear that Pakistan is only interested in this fight insofar as it involves al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban attacking their country. They have no real care or interest in Taliban roaming across the NWFP into Afghanistan and launching attacks against either the Afghan Army/Police or NATO. That simply doesn’t matter to Pakistan. Pakistan wants the Taliban or a Taliban-like (Pashtun dominated) government in Afghanistan. Always has, always will.
The Pakistanis also know that increased US pressure in the tribal regions, pushes the insurgency/terrorism against them. If NATO/US gets better at preventing cross-border raids from Pakistan into Afghanistan (i.e. West), that energy-violence has nowhere to go but back into the heartland of Pakistan (i.e. East).
It’s the foreign policy equivalent of the financial meltdown.