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Thread: Report blames both US, Pakistan for Nato attack

      
   
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    Report blames both US, Pakistan for Nato attack

    WASHINGTON: The US investigations into the Nov 26 border attack by Nato forces that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers has reportedly concluded that both US and Pakistan forces bear responsibility for the incident, The New York Times reported.

    The report said: "Mistakes by both American and Pakistani forces led to airstrikes against Pakistani border posts that killed 24 Pakistani Army soldiers last month".

    Even though it spread blame between both countries, the key finding of the investigation is likely to further enrage Pakistan: that the airstrikes were ultimately justified because Pakistani soldiers fired first on a joint team of Afghan and American special operations forces operating along the often poorly demarcated frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan, American and Western officials, who asked not to be identified because the report of the investigation had not yet been released, said Thursday.

    The report says that the joint Afghan-American patrol, which was operating in a remote and mountainous area between the Afghan province of Kunar and the Pakistani tribal area of Mohmand, came under machine gun and mortar fire from at least one of the Pakistani border posts sometime around midnight on Nov. 26, American and Western officials said. The American official said the Afghan and American special operations forces believed they were being attacked by militants, at least initially, and called for air support.

    Why the Pakistanis were firing remains unclear, the American official said. But in the days after the airstrikes, another American official in Washington provided part of an explanation: the Pakistanis apparently had intelligence that the Taliban was planning to attack the border posts and the Pakistani soldiers may have mistaken the Afghan and American troopers for militants.

    The United States military report lends credence to that theory: the officials said it finds that NATO did not inform Pakistan that the operation on the border was taking place, and thus the Pakistani soldiers would not have known to expect allied forces near their posts. NATO and Pakistani forces are supposed to inform each other when launching operations on the border precisely to avoid the kind of mistake that took place on Nov. 26.

    The second American mistake came when the airstrikes were called in. The Americans apparently gave the Pakistani Army the wrong coordinates that were to be struck by Apache attack helicopters and an AC-130 gunship, the officials said.

    It wasn't immediately clear whether the Pakistanis cleared the strikes after getting the wrong coordinates. They have said they did not; regardless, the strikes began before their officers based at NATO coordination posts in Afghanistan had a chance to check with superiors in Pakistan, according to the Pakistani account of what took place.

    But, as the report shows, even if Pakistan did clear the strikes, the posts still probably would have been hit because the Pakistanis had been given the wrong coordinates.

    Another safeguard also failed, according to the report: Pakistan never told NATO it had established the border posts, which had been up for about three months, said a Western official in Kabul. Both sides are supposed to inform each other when setting up new positions along the border, another measure intended to avoid strikes against each other.

    Whether any American service members will be disciplined in connection with the incident has not been decided, the American and Western officials said.

    NATO's Afghanistan headquarters and the United States Embassy in Kabul declined to comment on the investigation, referring queries to the Defense Department and State Department in Washington. Pakistani officials did not offer any immediate reaction.

    But given the indignant Pakistani response to the raid - "They killed our sons and we can never forgive this," said one senior Pakistani defense official in a recent interview, speaking anonymously because he still works with Americans - Washington was bracing for another round of recrimination, said the American and Western officials.

    A ban on the shipment of NATO supplies through Pakistan, which was put in place after the strike, is expected to remain for some time, the officials said. NATO officials have said the blockade is not affecting operations because less than 30 percent of supplies for coalition forces in Afghanistan are currently shipped through Pakistan.

    More damaging is the faltering military and counter-terror cooperation between Washington and Islamabad after a year of crises that began with the shooting of two Pakistanis by a CIA contractor in the city of Lahore. The two sides no longer conduct joint operations along the border, which they had started doing a few years ago, and intelligence-sharing on a range of threats from al Qaeda to lesser known Islamist militant groups has also fallen off, the American and Western officials said.

    Report blames both US, Pakistan for Nato attack

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    Re: Report blames both US, Pakistan for Nato attack

    President orders probe into threats to Hamid Mir

    ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has taken serious notice on threats to senior journalist/anchorperson Hamid Mir and ordered investigations into it.

    Geo TV anchor Hamid Mir on Wednesday revealed he had received seriously threatening messages after his talk show criticising the security establishment and stated publicly that if anything happened to him, the security establishment would be responsible.

    Mir also sent his message to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in New York which quickly issued a blog condemning the threat and complaining that the Government of Pakistan had not done anything about similar threats to journalists in the past.

    President orders probe into threats to Hamid Mir

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    Re: Report blames both US, Pakistan for Nato attack

    Husain Haqqani meets Asma Jehangir at AG office

    ISLAMABAD: The meeting between former Pakistan ambassador to US Husain Haqqani and his consel in memo case, Asma Jehangir is underway at the attorney general’s office in the Supreme Court’s premises Thursday, Geo News reported.

    Husain Haqqani has been brought to court after the SC’s order where he is meeting his lawyer Asma Jehangir to discuss the memo issue.
    Husain Haqqani meets Asma Jehangir at AG office

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    Re: Report blames both US, Pakistan for Nato attack

    SC hears memogate case

    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court during proceedings of the memogate case directed the federation and Husain Haqqani to submit their rejoinders on Thursday.

    The judges remarked that there was something to the memo issue which is why the prime minister made Haqqani resign from his post and then ordered an investigation.

    A nine-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed heard the memogate scandal case.

    Earlier, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani submitted his rejoinder to the Supreme Court, insisting that the ‘memo is a reality’ and an attempt to lower the morale of Pakistan's armed forces.

    Moreover, The Ministry of Defence in its written reply to the Supreme Court of Pakistan said that it had no control on the Army/ISI operations.

    It is pertinent to mention here that Supreme Court of Pakistan had ordered The Ministry of Defence to submit a written reply on the same.

    Meanwhile ISI chief, Gen Shuja Pasha in his reply to Supreme Court on the memo issue has reaffirmed his earlier stance.

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    Re: Report blames both US, Pakistan for Nato attack

    US investigation accepts (some) blame on US and NATO troops for the deadly attack. In fact Wall Street Journal places its headline as: U.S. Erred in Deadly Attack - WSJ.com

    Washington has repeatedly expressed its condolences for the loss of Pakistani life. However, we have to see if US government will issue an apology or not - a demand Pakistan is making.
    Quote Originally Posted by NoToRi0uS View Post

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    Re: Report blames both US, Pakistan for Nato attack

    It is an irony of democratic Pakistan that ministry of defense has no operational control of Pak Army and ISI. E.g. All foreign diplomats are under ministry of foreign affairs. But Army and ISI are not under ministry of defense. Budget of army is not discussed in national assembly (source: Pakistan’s Defence Budget: Cloaked in Secrecy | News & Politics | Newsline )
    Quote Originally Posted by NoToRi0uS View Post
    SC hears memogate case
    ...Moreover, The Ministry of Defence in its written reply to the Supreme Court of Pakistan said that it had no control on the Army/ISI operations.

    It is pertinent to mention here that Supreme Court of Pakistan had ordered The Ministry of Defence to submit a written reply on the same.

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