Investigation – Attack on Pakistan
12 comments | by The News International on January 31 , 2012
The Pakistani military leadership’s response to the U.S. report on its helicopter attack on two Pakistani border posts Nov. 26 assailed the credibility of the investigation by Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven Clark and expressed doubt that the attack could have been “accidental.”
The long-expected rejoinder, made public Monday, charged that 28 of its soldiers at two border bases were killed one by one long after the U.S. military had been told about the attack on a Pakistani base.
The Pakistani critique questions the claims that the U.S. did not know about the Pakistani border posts, that the combined U.S.-Afghan Special Forces unit believed it was under attack from insurgents when it called in air strikes against the two border posts, and that a series of miscommunications prevented higher echelons from stopping the attacks on the border posts.
General Nadeem of Pakistan Army and Inter Services military spokesman Gen. Athar Abbas both pointed out the posts were located on the tops or ridges more than 300 meters from the Afghan border and that they were permanent structures, which would not have been occupied by insurgents. Furthermore,Gen.Nadeem said, NATO had been given the map coordinates of those posts, called “Volcano” and “Boulder.”
The head of Pakistani military operations also provided a detailed account of the events indicating that the U.S. military was aware of the fact that Pakistani posts were being attacked from the beginning.
Just minutes before “Volcano” was first attacked, he recalled, a U.S. sergeant from the “Tactical Operations Centre” in Afghanistan called a Pakistani major on duty in Peshawar and told him U.S. Special Forces had taken indirect fire in an area called ‘Gora Pahari’ about nine miles from the army posts.
A few minutes later, the U.S. sergeant called back and told the major, “Your Volcano post has been hit,” Nadeem said.
General Nadeem said the Pakistani army informed NATO that their posts were being attacked by ISAF forces, but the attack continued for 51 minutes, then breaking off for 15 minutes, and resuming for about an hour.