US dismisses the Sovereignty of Nations

U.S. dismisses ‘sovereignty of nations’ issue: has legal rights to enter Another nation: “We’ll do again if necessary”

The United States Thursday May 05 side-stepping the ‘sovereignty of nation’ issue when questioned by an Indian journalist accredited to the State Department said that the US “believed he (Osama bin Laden) was a direct and imminent threat to the United States” and the US further “ believed this was well within its legal rights to carry out this operation against an individual who had carried out attacks against the United States”, and made clear that “US would again carry out a similar operation if needed.”

But the United States declined to endorse any Indian bid to go after the plotters of Mumbai attacks living in Pakistan.

These and more United States policies were officially spelled out at the State Department media briefing on Thursday May 05 by its spokesman Mark C. Toner who faced barrage of questions about violating Pakistan’s sovereignty in sending its elite army unit Navy SEAL 6 to Abbottabad just outside the Capital Islamabad to apprehend the al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden last Sunday without the knowledge of the Pakistani authorities.

Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said Thursday that keeping in view the long standing relations with the United States, Pakistan’s sovereignty should not have been violated. Reacting to a military operation conducted deep inside the Pakistan territory by a US team of Navy SEALs, he said the issue of violation of sovereignty was a matter of concern for Pakistan.

He said it was particularly so, in view of the cooperation with the United States of America, in intelligence and defense. “There was no need to a shortcut, or to bypass Pakistan”, Gilani told the team of reporters accompanying him on his three-day visit to France.

But Mr. Toner made clear that US would again carry out a similar operation if needed despite warnings from Islamabad that any more violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty will warrant a review on the level of military intelligence cooperation with the US.

“I can just say our position has been quite clear in that we believe this individual was a direct threat to the United States and to United States citizens, as well as the world,” he said. “And when we have that kind of intelligence, actionable intelligence, we’re going to take action.”

When the Indian correspondent reminded the State Department spokesman that certain individuals inside Pakistan who attacked the Indian parliament and who were responsible for the killings in Mumbai are living with the territory of Pakistan and Indian bid to go after the plotters of Mumbai attacks living in Pakistan, Toner declining to endorse said he was aware of all those cases.

“Our counterterrorism cooperation both with India and with Pakistan is ongoing and we believe that it’s directed at exactly these kinds of elements,” he added.

The assault team that killed Osama bin Laden entered his compound in radar-evading helicopters that had never been discussed publicly by the United States, aviation analysts said.

The stealth features, similar to those used on advanced fighter jets and bombers, help explain how two of the helicopters carrying the Navy SEALs sped undetected through Pakistani air defenses before reaching the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad just outside the Pakistani Capital Islamabad. The use of the specially equipped helicopters also underscores the extent to which American officials wanted to get to Osama bin Laden without tipping off Pakistani leaders.

The ‘bin Laden operation’ clearly indicates that the United States is capable of entering air space of sovereign nations to apprehend or kill anyone a threat to the United States or its national security.

It is this sovereignty issue that came up during the press briefing at the State Department on Thursday. asiantribune


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