We Can, No You Can’t Invade Pakistan-Dueling Views!

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the United States has a right to act against terrorist targets in Pakistan if American troops are being threatened by their presence in that country. “I will say to you,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “we will do what is necessary to protect our troops, but it is very important to engage the Pakistan government.” The implication of his remarks has received varied interpretations ranging from America will seek the permission of Pakistan prior to military action to the apparent belief in the Pentagon that US military leaders in Afghanistan have the right of pursuit according to their reading of the UN Charter.

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani responded in clear terms to the American interpretation: “I want to declare categorically that we will not tolerate violation of our sovereignty by anyone in the name of combating terrorism.”