A fresh attack by NATO has resulted in the killing of 28 Pakistani troops, resulting in strained relationship between the two countries.
The incident was quick to incite the wrath of the Pakistani government, which harshly condemned this act of violence.
According to reports, NATO helicopters launched an attack on a base in the northwest region of Pakistan. The post was located in the Mohmand tribal area and a report says that the NATO helicopters "carried out unprovoked and indiscriminate firing."
The attack was labeled as a flagrant violation of the Pakistani territory and all the government officials, civilians and army personnel strongly condemned this NATO attack. "Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has condemned in the strongest terms the NATO/ISAF attack on the Pakistani post," Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua said in a statement.
"On his direction, the matter is being taken (up) by the foreign ministry in the strongest terms with NATO and the U.S.," the spokesman said.
This NATO attack has also resulted in the shutting off of the vital supply route for the NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan. It seems that this time around, this attack will not be taken lightly by the government of Pakistan. The NATO commander expressed his condolences to relatives of Pakistani soldiers who "may have been killed or injured."
The NATO attack on the Pakistani troops was also condemned by the chief of army staff of Pakistan, General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani, who said in a statement, "All necessary steps be under taken for an effective response to this irresponsible act."
According to a report, the prime minister of Pakistan, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, cut short his visit to Multan and returned to the federal capital, Islamabad, to respond to the situation. The governor of Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province said that the NATO attack was actually "an attack on Pakistan's territorial sovereignty."
"Such cross-border attacks cannot be tolerated any more. The government will take up this matter at the highest level and it will be investigated," he said.
According to NATO officials, the attack was launched because it was mistakenly thought that the base actually belonged to the militants. However, Pakistani officials have clearly stated that they will not entertain any such excuse.
This fresh NATO attack is going to be a further dent in the strained relations of Pakistan and the U.S.