Pakistan resumed some cooperation with US-led forces in Afghanistan following NATO strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers by working with the coalition to prevent another cross-border incident from escalating, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
The weekend airstrikes have severely strained the already troubled relationship between Pakistan and the US, jeopardizing Washington’s hopes of enlisting Islamabad’s support in winding down the Afghan war.
Pakistan is still outraged by the soldiers’ deaths and has retaliated by closing its Afghan border crossings to NATO supplies, demanding the US vacate an air base used by US drones and boycotting an international conference aimed at stabilizing Afghanistan.
However, NATO said Islamabad communicated with the alliance to prevent an exchange of fire over the border late on Tuesday from turning into another international incident.
US forces received mortar and recoilless rifle fire from an area just inside the Pakistan border, US spokesman Navy Lieutenant Commander Brian Badura said.
US forces returned fire in self-defense while confirming with the Pakistani military that it wasn’t involved. No damage or casualties were reported by the US or Pakistan, he said.
German Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, a NATO spokesman in Kabul, expressed hope that Pakistan’s cooperation in resolving the incident in eastern Afghanistan’s Paktia Province signaled the two sides could recover from the recent tragedy.
The Pakistani military did not immediately respond to request for comment on the latest incident.