Pakistan To Boycott Meeting in Bonn Over Friendly Fire Incident
Pakistan on Tuesday announced it would boycott the meeting on Afghanistan in Bonn, Germany, protesting thus against the deadly raid of the US army on the Pakistani army over the weekend, an incident that damaged even more the already tense ties between Islamabad and Washington.
On Saturday a strike of the American troops in Afghanistan directed against insurgents at the Afghan-Pakistani border killed 24 Pakistani troops, causing the government in Islamabad to react in anger.
The NATO officials are still investigating what happened on Saturday, but all indicates a friendly fire executed by US and Afghan special forces as they came under attack from the Pakistani border. The United States and NATO expressed regret for the incident.
Hours after the attack Pakistan closed the border to trucks that were delivering supplies to the troops in Afghanistan. Islamabad announced that it would rethink its relation to NATO and the United States.
The decision to boycott the meeting in Bonn was made by the leaders of the cabinet convened in the city of Lahore. The meeting, scheduled for December 5 is expected to bring regional leaders together in order to forge a plan for the period that will follow the American withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Pakistan is by far the most important regional power that could be involved in the reconstruction of the embattled Afghanistan, which has been through war for the last 10 years. The conference was not expected to bring to many positive results anyway, but the absence of Pakistan is sure to make it almost useless.