Pakistan has formally communicated to the United Nations its protest and condemnation of the NATO airstrike that killed its 24 soldiers and strained ties between Washington and Islamabad.
Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN Abdullah Hussain Haroon has written a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon informing him about the NATO attack of November 26 "on Pakistan's border posts (that) resulted in the martyrdom of 24 officers and soldiers of the Pakistani army."
He further wrote in the letter that 13 personnel were also injured in the attack. Haroon was in Pakistan for the last few weeks and writing the letter, dated November 27 and marked "most urgent", to the UN Chief is understood to have been among the first things he did after returning to New York.
Haroon has also forwarded to the Secretary-General the statement that was issued in Islamabad by the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) after it held an emergency meeting, chaired by Pakistan's prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, following the attack on Saturday.
In the statement issued on November 26, the committee had "strongly condemned" the NATO attack and said that protests had been lodged with the US and NATO headquarters in Brussels "conveying in the strongest possible terms Pakistan's condemnation of the attack which constituted breach of sovereignity... and had gravely dented the fundamental basis of Pakistan's cooperation with NATO/ISAF against militancy and terror."
Through the statement, Haroon communicated to the UN chief the decision by Pakistan to ask the US to vacate the Shamsi Air Base within 15 days and to close two main NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.