As reported last week, the United States and Pakistan shared an intensely tenuous moment when American helicopters incurred across the Afghan border and into the sovereign nation. Giving a stern warning, the Pakistani military fired warning flares, and a short exchange of warning shots, prompting the Americans to leave and return back into the seven year old colony. In the Khost Province right across the border, the American military has been known in the past months to pursue terrorists into Pakistan, incurring anger from Pakistani officials. While the military dictator Perez Musharraf might have encouraged such blatant violations of national sovereignty, the new Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, will not allow it. The widower of recently assassinated Benzair Bhutto sent a strong message to the United States: respect our borders.
Even in the midst of a region engulfed with a US militaristic nation-building enterprise, Pakistan is not afraid to stand down. Not only must they deal with American incursions, but also historically tenuous relations with nuclear neighbor India, and China's growing influence in their hemisphere. While Pakistan seems prompt to allow the United States a sphere of influence in the region, the new president is not afraid to draw the line on what is termed acceptable in America's obsessed War on Terror.