Pakistan says it is angry about NATO returning fire on militants

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Pakistan has voiced anger at rare Nato-led raids at the weekend which crossed over its border from Afghanistan.

Apache helicopters are said to have taken part in the operations which killed more than 50 insurgents.

Pakistan's ministry of foreign affairs said the raids, launched from the Khost region of Afghanistan, were a violation of its sovereignty.
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Nato has again insisted that it was operating within its mandate and troops had a right to defend themselves.

The BBC's Adam Mynott in Islamabad says Pakistan's comments were mainly aimed at a domestic audience, among which US military activity is often unpopular.

The International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said it had crossed over the border into Pakistan after coming under fire in the Khost region of Afghanistan. It said 49 insurgents had been killed.

Two Apache helicopters again crossed the border on Saturday, killing four to six insurgents, after coming under small-arms fire from the same area, it said.

Isaf has said the raids followed its rules of engagement in the region and that it has the right to enter Pakistan's airspace while pursuing a target.

There is more.

If Pakistan was really concerned about sovereignty it would not allow militants in Pakistan to fire across the border at NATO aircraft. It would not allow the Taliban to use Pakistan as a sanctuary. If Pakistan does not get the enemy to respect its sovereignty it should not expect others to respect it either.

It is very likely that Pakistan is playing a double game with its home audience, but the people also need to be more mature about the situation.

Pakistan is now saying that NATO can fire across the border, but the choppers has no right to hot pursuit under the UN mandate. It sounds a little legalistic and still does not account for the activities of the Taliban using Pakistan soil to fire on Afghan operations. Perhaps NATO should have responded that there is no UN mandate that allows the Taliban to fire across the border either.
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