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Army rejects US report on Nato attack

January 23, 2012


Military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas speaks during a news conference in Rawalpindi April 29, 2009.—Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's military on Monday rejected US findings on a Nov. 26 Nato cross-border air attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and plunged relations to a low point.

“Pakistan does not agree with several portions and findings of the investigation report, as these are factually not correct,” the military said in a statement.

The US report released on Dec. 22 found both American and Pakistani forces were to blame for the border incident, inflaming already strained ties.

“Affixing partial responsibility of the incident on Pakistan is therefore unjustified and unacceptable,” said the statement.

“The fundamental cause of the incident of 26th November, 2011, was the failure of U.S./ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) to share its near-border operation with Pakistan at any level.”

Pakistan responded to the attack by shutting down ground routes to supply US-led Nato forces in Afghanistan and forced the United States to vacate an air base used to launch drone flights.

Last week, a senior Pakistani security official told Reuters the routes would be reopened, but heavy tariffs would be imposed.

The army had earlier in December 2011 rejected key findings from the US investigation into air strikes and had said the report was unlikely to repair the severely damaged relationship between the two countries.