Pakistan envoy criticises US travel alert: report
A US travel alert warning Americans travelling in Europe against possible terrorist attacks may have been politically motivated, Pakistan's top diplomat in Britain told a newspaper Friday.
High commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan suggested the decision to issue the alert -- which followed reports militants in Pakistan were plotting to target Europe -- could have been influenced by mid-term polls in the US next month.
"I will not deny the fact that there may be internal political dynamics, including the forthcoming mid-term American elections," Hasan was quoted as saying in Britain's Guardian daily.
"If the Americans have definite information about terrorists and Al-Qaeda people, we should be provided [with] that and we could go after them ourselves."
The US alert on Sunday was followed by warnings from Britain, Japan and Sweden that its citizens may be at risk of terror attacks while travelling in Europe.
Hasan further said recent US attacks inside Pakistan had "set the country on fire" and warned that mounting public anger could lead to American personnel in Pakistan being attacked.
"If they [the Americans] kill someone again, they will react," he was quoted as saying.
"There is a figure that there are 3,000 American personnel in Pakistan. They would be very easy targets."
The US apologised Wednesday for a helicopter strike on Pakstani soil. At least two Pakistani soldiers were killed in the incident last week when NATO choppers opened fire in a cross-border raid after mistaking them for militants.
The US has dramatically ramped up strikes with unmanned aerial drones in Pakistan's tribal areas in recent weeks.
© 2010 AFP