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Pakistan kicks US out after lethal airstrike

Issue No. 2283

Hostilities between the US and Pakistan have dramatically escalated after a US airstrike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month.

The Pakistani government has responded by refusing to allow the US to transport supplies through Pakistan to Afghanistan.

These roads, on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, have been the lifeline of the US “war on terror”.

Pakistan has also evicted the CIA from its base inside the country. The base was used to monitor intelligence gathered by the pilotless drones and to repair them.

Drones have been increasingly used by the US in Pakistan. The aircraft are used for surveillance and to fire Hellfire missiles at targets.

Their use has angered ordinary Pakistanis. Missiles from drones have killed hundreds of civilians in unprovoked attacks.

Pakistan closed its airspace to the US on Monday. A senior Pakistani military official said, “Any object entering into our airspace, including US drones, will be treated as hostile and be shot down.”

Relations between the two countries have been increasingly strained. Over the past year, Pakistan has detained a CIA agent for killing two Pakistanis.

And the US unilaterally organised a raid inside Pakistan that resulted in the assassination of Osama Bin Laden in May.

The US has publicly accused Pakistan’s military of arming, supporting and protecting Islamic militants it is trying to crush in the tribal region on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.

And this crisis is not confined to Pakistan. For the US, its already shaky strategy in the Afghan war is coming under mounting pressure.

Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president, has vowed to stay in power for years to come, and he has surrounded himself with a deeply corrupt regime.

This exposes the lie of US-created “democracy” in the country.

The occupation has left Afghanistan in tatters. And Obama’s promises of a total withdrawal look ever more unlikely.

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Tue 13 Dec 2011, 17:13 GMT
Issue No. 2283
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