Van Bommel: Foreign Minister must speak out against extension of Afghan war into Pakistan

28 September 2010

Van Bommel: Foreign Minister must speak out against extension of Afghan war into Pakistan

Harry van Bommel has asked Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen to make a statement on the Afghanistan-based NATO armed forces' incursion into Pakistani territory. Last week troops from NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) repeatedly entered Pakistan, leaving dozens of people dead. The Pakistani government has issued a protest against the incursions. Since then the action has led to attacks on NATO convoys bringing fuel across Pakistani territory to deliver to troops in Afghanistan. Numerous trucks carrying goods for the NATO troops have been destroyed. "The NATO attacks within Pakistani territory must stop," says Van Bommel. "|If that doesn't happen, and quickly, the war will spread into Pakistan. I call on Foreign Minister Verhagen to join me in this.”

Harry van BommelThe SP has in the recent past protested against American bombing of Pakistani targets by uncrewed 'drones', bombings which have continued for some years. These attacks were approved, however, by the Pakistani government. The intention was to kill terrorists. While it's unclear whether any terrorists were hit, what is certain is that the drones created many victims, including amongst the civilian population. The US war policy is for this reason very unpopular amongst the Pakistani people. This week's raids by ground troops from inside Afghanistan have therefore provoked strong objections from Pakistan. "The extension of the war on the ground increases the risk that the Pakistani people will support groups fighting against NATO," says Van Bommel. "This would in turn enormously increase the scale of the war, a disastrous development.”

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