Pak to deploy air defence weapons on Afghan border

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 Islamabad, Dec 9: Pakistan has decided to deploy air defence weapons on its border with Afghanistan to pre-empt fresh attacks by NATO and allied forces in the wake of a cross-border air strike that killed 24 soldiers, according to a media report.

The decision to deploy air defence weapons was made as the country re-evaluates its strategy for safeguarding its western borders from air raids, the Pakistan Army's Director General of Military Operations, Maj Gen Ashfaq Nadeem Ahmed, on Dec 8 said that the federal cabinet and the Senate's Standing Committee on Defence during briefings. "After the November 26 NATO attack on two military check posts in the Mohmand Agency, we fear an attack from the western border. Hence a decision has been taken to deploy air defence weapons in that region," a participant of one of the briefings told the Dawn newspaper.

Pakistan closed all NATO supply routes and asked the US to vacate the Shamsi airbase by December 11 following the air strike. The DGMO said the army chief, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, had given troops full liberty to retaliate to any further attacks without prior approval of the top command. He said that Pakistan border posts were currently equipped with small weapons suitable for fighting insurgents and bunkers had been built. Ahmed said the coordination mechanism between Pakistani and NATO forces had been "completely violated" and there were reasons to believe that the air strike was a "planned attack, and not a mistake."


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