US braces for Pakistan reprisals, after apologies | world | Hindustan Times
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US braces for Pakistan reprisals, after apologies

world Updated: Nov 29, 2011 00:31 IST
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The NATO forces in Afghanistan are bracing for possible reprisals from Pakistani-backed insurgents following the coalition air strike along the border that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Senior officers from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), were scrambling to resume contacts with their Pakistani counterparts in the hopes of setting up a joint investigation into the incident.

But Pakistani officers severed communications and Islamabad cut Isaf's two supply routes running through Pakistan.

It also gave the US two weeks to vacate the Shamsi airbase in Balochistan, which has been used to launch American drone aircraft.

One Isaf source voiced concern that the Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI, could go much further and use its suspected influence over insurgent groups in the tribal areas along the Afghan border to launch reprisal attacks on Nato.

The incident, and the subsequent breakdown in relations with Pakistan, is a particular blow to the Isaf commander, US general John Allen, who sees the insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan as one of the keys to the Afghan conflict. and who had been in Pakistan the day before the border incident for talks with the Pakistani army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, to discuss border co-operation.