BRUSSELS: Nato Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Sunday conveyed his condolences to the Pakistani families, government and people with regard to the Nato attack in Mohmand Agency on Saturday that left 24 soldiers dead.
Commenting on the incident on Twitter, Rasmussen said in a series of successive tweets:
“Deepest condolences to Pakistani families, government and people following regrettable incident at border.”
“Wrote (to the) Prime Minister of Pakistan – deaths of Pakistani personnel are as unacceptable as the deaths of Afghan and international personnel.”
“Isaf is investigating to determine what happened at Afghan-Pakistan border. Lessons will be drawn to avoid such tragedies.”
“Nato strongly committed to work with Pakistan to improve cooperation. We have joint interest in fighting cross-border terrorism.”
An early Saturday morning attack by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) helicopters killed at least 24 security personnel and injured 12 soldiers on a Pakistani check post in Salala, which is located in the Tehsil Bayzai area of Mohmand Agency on the Pak-Afghan border.
“This incident has my highest personal attention and my commitment to thoroughly investigate it to determine the facts,” said General John Allen, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) on Saturday.
“My most sincere and personal heartfelt condolences go out to the families and loved ones of any members of Pakistan security forces who may have been killed or injured,” he added in the statement.
The United States has been told by Pakistan’s military leadership to evacuate a logistically key airbase it operates in Balochistan – Shamsie Airbase – within 15 days. In addition, Pakistan’s fury was driven home with an official statement that it will shut down Nato supply routes operating through its territory – something that has happened for the first time, though supply routes have previously been temporarily blocked unofficially following similar attacks.