Pak Foreign Sect spits fire over US operation; warns Ind too

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Islamabad, May 5: Pakistan put up a brave face in spite of the scathing remarks against the US by Pakistani media and others in the government over the covert operation carried out by US in Pakistan"s backyard to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. In a press conference by Pakistan"s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, though the rhetoric was mild, the intention of the words seems to be charged with irritation and annoyance.

On the issue of strained relationship between US and Pak, Bashir reiterated that relations had not nosedived and stated that Pakistan and US were strategic partners still. He also took the opportunity to hold high the moral and military capabilities of Pakistan and made a statement in no-less terms on his steely intent and said, “As far as Pakistan is concerned...there should be no mistake...that the people, leadership and parliament of Pakistan hold their dignity and honour dear...we are determined to uphold our sovereignty."

He also claimed that it would be wrong to infer the government"s or ISI"s hand in protecting Bin Laden and stressed that Pakistan was not aware of the secret operation.

He also added that Pakistan does not want "compassionate international intervention". He also made strong remarks on thoughts to continue such operations in Pakistan to capture high profile terrorists, Bashir said, “We see a lot of bravado in our own region," and added, "there are statements that have come across...from the military...the air force... that states that this can be repeated. We feel that sort of misadventure would result in a terrible catastrophe." [Read: Will carry out Abbottabad-type attacks in Pak if needed:US]

On the fact that Pakistan was kept in the dark on the covert operation, Bashir commented, “This action was a covert action. Pakistan was not consulted." He also expressed similar sentiments on Indian military chief"s comments that said that it was capable of Abbottabad-like operations in Pakistan if the need arises, he stated, “Any other country that would ever act on assumption that it has the right to unilateralism of any sort will find as far as Pak is concerned that it has made a basic mistake."

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