Tensions between the US and Pakistan have been on the rise for months. They seem to have reached a new level today, however, as Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani has threatened a “full force” military response to future US raids into Pakistani territory.
“Pakistan reserves the right to retaliate with full force. No one should underestimate the resolve and capacity of our nation and armed forces to defend our sacred homeland,” warned Gilani. The comments came just a week after a unilateral US raid killed Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.
The comments aren’t coming from nowhere, of course. Last week White House spokesman Jay Carney reported that President Obama “reserves the right” to launch future ground attacks inside Pakistan in the future whenever he feels they are important. Though Pakistan has not filed an official complaint about the bin Laden raid, it is clear they don’t want to see such raids become the new normal in their nation, particularly with 150,000 NATO troops just across the border in Afghanistan.
US officials have accused Pakistan of being complicit in protecting bin Laden, though they admitted yesterday they have no evidence to support this claim. Gilani denied that the government had any role in bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, calling the claim “absurd.”