Pakistan to use force to stop violations of its territory

Pakistan's interior minister said Wednesday his country may use military force to stop violations of its territory.

“We will not allow anyone in any case to interfere in Pakistan'sterritory and if this continues, we will adopt all the set measuresincluding military action,” Rehman Malik told reporters. “I assure youwe are quite capable of defending our homeland.”

Malik said he was referring to two incidents of aerial engagements fromthe Afghanistan side into Pakistani territory by helicopters with theNATO-led International Security Assistance Force over the weekend, inwhich dozens of suspected militants were killed in what Pakistan saidwas its territory.

Islamabad strongly protested the action and sent a demarche -- a formalprotest relayed through diplomatic channels -- to NATO headquarters inBrussels, Belgium.

“These incidents are a clear violation and breach of the UN mandateunder which ISAF operates. The said mandate “terminates/finishes” atthe Afghanistan border. There are no agreed “hot pursuit” rules. Anyimpression to the contrary is not factually correct. Such violationsare unacceptable,” said a statement from Pakistan's foreign affairsministry on Monday.

“ISAF/NATO has been asked not to participate in any military actionthat violates the UN mandate and infringes upon Pakistan's sovereignty.In the absence of immediate corrective measures, Pakistan will beconstrained to consider response options,” the statement continued.

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