BRUSSELS: NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed regret on Monday for the deaths of Pakistani soldiers last week and said he hoped Pakistan’s border would reopen for NATO supplies to Afghanistan as soon as possible.
Angered by repeated attacks by NATO helicopters within its borders, Pakistan blocked one of the supply routes for NATO troops in Afghanistan after one strike killed three soldiers last week in the western Kurram region.
“I expressed my regret for the incident last week in which Pakistani soldiers lost their lives,” Rasmussen said after a meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. “I expressed my hope the border will be open for supplies as soon as possible; the foreign minister committed work on that for which I am very grateful.”
Meanwhile Pakistan’s Taliban on Monday claimed the responsibility and vowed more attacks on tankers transporting fuel to NATO troops in Afghanistan. “We accept responsibility for the attacks on the Nato supply trucks and tankers,” Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Azam Tariq told media. “I am talking about attacks both in Sindh and in Islamabad,” he said in a telephone call from an undisclosed location.“We will carry out more such attacks in future. We will not allow the use of Pakistani soil as a supply route for Nato troops based in Afghanistan,” he said.“This is also to avenge drone attacks,” he added. It may be recalled that the United States has surged drone strikes in the Pakistani tribal region. -SANA