ISLAMABAD: Pakistan military and the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan launched a joint investigation on Saturday into Nato incursions during the past week.
Military officials confirmed that a joint probe had begun into the repeated Nato border violations but would not share any further details.
The decision to launch a joint investigation came during a telephonic conversation between the top US military commander in Afghanistan General David Petraeus and Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Friday.
Some reports suggest a Pakistan military delegation left for Afghanistan to carry out the joint investigation. However, the Foreign Office and Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) did not confirm any such visit.
Meanwhile, The Express Tribune has learnt that Pakistan has requested an early meeting of the Tripartite Commission comprising top military commanders and intelligence officials of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US-led coalition forces.
“We want an immediate meeting of the Tripartite Commission to take up Nato border violations,” a Foreign Office official said. The official said Pakistan requisitioned the meeting in order to raise the issue of recent Nato helicopter airstrikes in the country’s tribal belt.
In one such attack, Nato helicopters fired missiles at one of the security check posts in Kurram Agency, killing three personnel. Pakistan condemned the strikes and sought an apology from Nato over violating its airspace.
The attacks also led to the partial suspension of supplies to the Nato forces in Afghanistan at Torkham border. The supplies remained suspended on Saturday for the third consecutive day. Almost three quarter of supplies for Nato and Isaf forces in Afghanistan transit through Pakistan.
The supplies are expected to resume soon after General Petraeus and the Nato deputy secretary-general offer regrets to Pakistan and promise to avoid recurrence of such incidents.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Hussain Haqqani said in an interview to the CNN that supplies will be allowed to pass as soon as security of the convoys can be ensured.
Haqqani said that Pakistan ordered the closure for security reasons after public outrage over the killing of Pakistani troops. “In a situation like that, if the supplies were continuing, there would have been a possibility that there may have been a security situation that we would have to deal with,” Haqqani said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2010.