Pakistan orders closure of key US airbase after ISAF troops conduct cross-border attack
Within 24 hours of a US attack helicopters strike inside Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of Mohmand that killed more than 20 Pakistani troops, the Pakistan government has ordered the US to vacate a key airbase in Baluchistan and has closed NATO’s supply lines through the Khyber Pass.
The Defence Committee of the Cabinet, a Pakistani committee chaired by Prime Minister Yousef Gilani, issued a statement calling for US personnel to leave the Shamsi airbase in Baluchistan province and the closure of NATO’s supply chain to Afghanistan.
“In accordance with the resolution of the Joint Session of the Parliament of May 14, 2011, the DCC decided to close with immediate effect the NATO/ISAF logistics supply lines. The DCC also decided to ask the United States (US) to vacate the Shamsi Airbase within 15 days,” according to the statement which was published by the Associated Press of Pakistan.
“The DCC decided that the Government will revisit and undertake a complete review of all programmes, activities and cooperative arrangements with US/NATO/ISAF, including diplomatic, political, military and intelligence, according to a statement issued from the Prime Minister House after the DCC meeting,” the statement continued.
Shamsi is used as both a NATO logistics base and as a key node in the CIA’s Predator and Reaper drone campaign in North and South Waziristan, while an estimated 70 percent of NATO’s supplies pass through Pakistan. Shamsi was rumored to have been shut down in April, but the rumor proved false.