Pakistan Orders Troops to Fire if US Launches Raid

Civilian leaders say they seek diplomatic solution
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 16, 2008 10:19 AM CDT
A member of Concerned Citizen of Pakistan participates in a rally to condemn US strikes in Pakistani tribal areas.   (AP Photo/K.M.Chaudary)
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(Newser) – Pakistan's military has ordered its forces to open fire if US troops launch another air or ground raid across the Afghan border, an army spokesman said today. The orders come in response to a highly unusual ground attack by American commandos earlier this month, and subsequent repeated reports of US drone aircraft striking militant targets, most recently last Friday.

Pakistani officials warn that stepped-up cross-border raids will accomplish little while fueling violent religious extremism. Some complain that the country is a scapegoat for the failure to stabilize Afghanistan. Pakistan's civilian leaders, who have taken a hard line against Islamic militants since forcing Pervez Musharraf to resign, have insisted that Pakistan must resolve the dispute with Washington through diplomatic channels.