Strong but right

It must have cheered Pakistanis across the board, barring a small minority of pro-Western citizens, to learn that Pakistan has reacted strongly but rightly to the American decision to cut aid to Pakistan Army by $800 million in the context of fighting the war on terror. Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukkhtar, while talking to a private TV channel on Monday, warned the US that in case the aid was not given, Islamabad would have no choice but to pull out its troops from the Pak-Afghan border.It could not afford to maintain such a huge force to man nearly 1100 check posts set-up there. He maintained the reduced amount “is not for fighting the war, but the money we have spent already.” Chaudhry Mukhtar also criticised the US for misusing the Shamsi airbase that it had been allowed to use, through the UAE, only for surveillance purposes and not for drones carrying lethal weapons and launching attacks. However, CIA has remained in a challenging mood, simply ignoring protests from Islamabad and continuing with drone strikes. Only during the past two days missiles fired by them killed at least 53 tribesmen, leaving a lot more injured.

Pakistan would have to do something to deter these killing machines to play with the lives of our citizens and make the Americans realise that these attacks were proving counterproductive, as they tend to produce more militants.Chaudhry Mukhtar confirmed the widespread suspicion that the military trainers whom Pakistan had asked to leave the country were found to be connected with CIA contractor Raymond Davis, the killer of two Lahorites. He hoped that the US would share the intelligence with Pakistan and not repeat the action it took to take out bin Laden in the case of Al-Zawahiri, who it says is hiding somewhere in our tribal areas. – Nation