ISLAMABAD: To defend the country and its people against any foreign aggression is the stated policy of the Pakistan Army, military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said on Tuesday. He told Daily Times that there had been no recent change in the army’s policy after cross-border incursions by US-led forces. “We reserve the right to defend our people in case of any offensive or cross-border incursion and we reserve the right to respond.”
Referring to his interview with the Associated Press (AP), in which he was quoted as saying that the army had given new instructions to its field commanders to deal with US troops trespassing into Pakistan, he said it was reported “out of context”, as there had been no recent change in the policy.
Quoting Athar, the AP reported on Tuesday that Pakistan’s military, following the September 3 Angoor Ada ground assault by US troops, had ordered its forces to open fire if US troops launch another raid inside Pakistan. At least 15 people were killed when the US troops launched the ground assault in the area.
The AP also quoted Athar as saying that the military had told its field commanders to take action to prevent any similar raids following the September 3 incident. “No new orders” had been issued to the army’s field commanders, Athar said. “The orders are clear,” he was quoted as saying in the interview. “In case it happens again in this form, that there is a very significant detection, which is very definite, no ambiguity, across the border, on ground or in the air: open fire.”
Input from Agencies