An unprovoked Nato helicopter raid killed 24 Pakistani troops in the wee hours on Saturday, while they were asleep in a checkpost in Mohmand Agency. The reaction of the Pakistani people continues to be strong, with protests which started the morning after continuing across the country on Sunday. These protests have coincided with international protests, thus showing that the incident has shown not just Pakistan, but the rest of the world, the cost of being a friend of the USA. The international condemnation is also proof, if any was needed, that the incident is a serious violation, with the OIC and China joining the chorus of condemnation, and supporting Pakistan. The USA and Nato have tried to put a positive spin on the incident, not because the Nato choppers were right, but because Pakistan ended its military cooperation, and that cooperation is necessary to the continued occupation of Afghanistan by its troops. Among those calling Pakistan in an attempt to have those steps reversed were US Secretaries of Defence Leon Panetta and of State Hillary Clinton, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Gen Martin Dempsey, ISAF Commander Gen John Allen and Nato Secretary General Fogh Rasmussen. Now it is Pakistans turn to turn down these blandishments, and refuse to continue an alliance with such a high cost in its soldiers blood. The excuse that the incident took place because the helicopters were chasing insurgents should be exposed as the lie it is. The excuse merely feeds into groundless fears of the Haqqani Network, and ignores the fact that the place of occurrence was in a pacified area, where let alone the Haqqani Network, no resistance fighters were operating. It is almost obvious that, the Nato military machine facing defeat in Afghanistan at the hands of an ill-equipped and badly armed opposition, is groping for excuses to explain away its mistakes, which are encouraged by its arrogance. Pakistan has a record of giving way to Nato blandishments. The last time it shut down supplies, last year, it re-opened them after accepting Nato apologies. It should not make the same mistake again, but should stand firm. In fact, it should go a step further, and end the alliance with the USA, end all participation in the USAs War on Terror, and make it clear to all comers, especially the USA and other Nato members that Pakistan will brook no further interference or foreign presence in the region, especially a presence which is so deadly to indigenous forces. The government should not ignore the fact that the outrage against the killing of its soldiers is so strong that any attempt to carry on with business as usual, will turn public attention (and anger) from Nato, where it is at the moment, to the government. Beset by crises as it is, that it cannot afford.