United Nations, November 29: Pakistan has formally communicated to the United Nations its protest and condemnation of the NATO airstrike that killed its 24 soldiers and has strained ties between Washington and Islamabad.
Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.N. Abdullah Hussain Haroon has written a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon informing him of the NATO attack of November 26 “on Pakistan's border posts (that) resulted in the martyrdom of 24 officers and soldiers of the Pakistani army.”
He further wrote in the letter that 13 personnel were also injured in the attack.
Mr. Haroon was in Pakistan for the last few weeks and writing the letter, dated November 27 and marked “most urgent”, to the U.N. Chief is understood to have been among the first things he did after returning to New York.
Mr. Haroon has also forwarded to the Secretary-General the statement that was issued in Islamabad by the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) after it held an emergency meeting, chaired by Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, following the attack on Saturday.
In the statement issued on November 26, the committee had “strongly condemned” the NATO attack and said protests had been lodged with the US and NATO headquarters in Brussels conveying in the strongest possible terms Pakistan's condemnation of the attack which constituted breach of sovereignity... and had gravely dented the fundamental basis of Pakistan's cooperation with NATO/ISAF against militancy and terror.”
Through the statement, Mr. Haroon communicated to the UN chief the decision by Pakistan to ask the U.S. to vacate the Shamsi Air Base within 15 days and to close two main NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.
Mr. Haroon has requested the U.N. Chief that the statement by the Defence Committee of the Cabinet be “forwarded” to the “Presidents of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council with the request for its circulation as a document” of the 15-member Council and the 193-nation General Assembly.
The office of the Security Council's President, currently Ambassador Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral of Portugal, in turn has submitted to the members of the Council “for their information” Mr. Haroon's letter as well as the DCC statement, which “will be issued as a document” of the UNSC.
Pakistan will sit at the U.N. Security Council as a non-permanent member for a two year term that will begin in January next year.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ban's Deputy Spokesperson Eduardo del Buey told reporters at a briefing that while The Secretary-General's office was aware of the NATO attack, “we are waiting to see if we get a line on that.”
Mr. Buey said he had no further comment on the issue but added that “thus far, there has been no Security Council resolution or General Assembly resolution on this situation and on the cross-border bombings.”