Pakistan to use force to stop violations of its territory

Pakistan's interior minister said Wednesday his country may use military force to stop violations of its territory.

“We will not allow anyone in any case to interfere in Pakistan's territory and if this continues, we will adopt all the set measures including military action,” Rehman Malik told reporters. “I assure you we are quite capable of defending our homeland.”

Malik said he was referring to two incidents of aerial engagements from the Afghanistan side into Pakistani territory by helicopters with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force over the weekend, in which dozens of suspected militants were killed in what Pakistan said was its territory.

Islamabad strongly protested the action and sent a demarche -- a formal protest relayed through diplomatic channels -- to NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

“These incidents are a clear violation and breach of the UN mandate under which ISAF operates. The said mandate “terminates/finishes” at the Afghanistan border. There are no agreed “hot pursuit” rules. Any impression to the contrary is not factually correct. Such violations are unacceptable,” said a statement from Pakistan's foreign affairs ministry on Monday.

“ISAF/NATO has been asked not to participate in any military action that violates the UN mandate and infringes upon Pakistan's sovereignty. In the absence of immediate corrective measures, Pakistan will be constrained to consider response options,” the statement continued.