” an unprecedented number of drone missile strikes“
Pakistani authorities blocked a vital supply route to Nato troops fighting in Afghanistan on Thursday in retaliation for a cross-border US helicopter raid which killed three Pakistani soldiers.
The attack on a border post was the fourth skirmish along the flashpoint this week, and came after an unprecedented number of drone missile strikes into the tribal regions had already inflamed anti-American feeling.
Hours after the raid, Pakistani officials closed the main Torkham border crossing to the hundreds of Nato supply lorries which cross daily into Afghanistan.
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Pakistan said it would “protect its sovereignty in all circumstances”, while Rehman Malik, interior minister, said: “We will have to see whether we are allies or enemies.”
America has intensified its war on militants acting from inside Pakistan after apparently becoming frustrated with Islamabad’s refusal to target them.
Yousuf Raza Gilani, prime minister, told Leon Panetta, the CIA director visiting Islamabad, that Pakistan was “profoundly concerned” about the incursions and drone strikes.
He said: “Pakistan being a front-line ally in the war against terror expects its partners to respect its territorial sovereignty.”