Pakistan declined to join investigation into NATO airstrike: Pentagon

Published: December 3, 2011
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US Department of Defense says it had invited Pakistan to take part in a joint investigation into the NATO attack. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

US Department of Defense says it had invited Pakistan to take part in a joint investigation into the NATO attack. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

WASHINGTON: US on Friday said that Pakistan had been invited to join an investigation into the cross border North Atlantic Treaty Organistaion (Nato) bombing of a Pakistani check post. However, Pakistan had elected not to participate in the investigation.

A Nato air strike – which Pakistan terms as ‘deliberate’, took place in the early hours of November 26, when Nato air craft providing close air support to ground troops attacked a Pakistani check post and then subsequent support troops which rushed to the site located in Mohmand on Pak-Afghan border. The attack killed at least 24 Pakistani soldiers and wounded a further 12.

(Read: ‘Unprovoked’: DGMO gives details of aerial assault)

Addressing a press conference at the Department of Defense, the Pentagon Press Secretary George Little in response to a question said that the relationship with Pakistan was critical. “We are partners with Pakistan … We will be working over time to resolve our differences over this and other matters.”

Captain John Kirby, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, said that the Nato airstrike “has had a chilling effect on our relationship with the Pakistani military.”

Referring to General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani’s letter to his troops, Captain Kirby said, “Every sovereign nation has the right of self-defense and the right to order their troops to defend themselves. So do we. We respect that right of his.”

(Read: Kayani’s bold move: ‘Pakistani troops will return fire if Nato attacks again’)

In response to a question about Pakistan’s decision to cease co-operation with the US and Afghan forces along the border, Kirby said that they hoped that they would be able to continue the kind of coordination and communication that they had been working on with Pakistan before this incident. “There had been a lot of effort put into our coordination on border control centres with Pakistanis before this incident, we hope that the same level of effort can continue.”

Regarding the Nato airstrike, Little reiterated, that this was “not in any way, shape or form an intentional attack by US military on Pakistan.”

Kirby said that the incident was a military engagement, and declined to provide further comments, saying the matter was still under investigation.

The two spokespersons also declined to comment directly on the effect of the Nato supply routes closure on US troops, calling it a logistical matter. Captain Kirby said that the US had alternatives and options.

Warren Weinstein and al Qaeda

In response to a question on Warren Weinstein and the authenticity of al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zwahiri’s claim that the kidnapped aid worker was in their custody, Captain Kirby said that they could not comment on the al Qaeda report yet.

(Read: Al Qaeda claims kidnapping of Weinstein in Pakistan)

Little though called for Weinstein’s immediate release.

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Reader Comments (52)

  • EX
    Dec 3, 2011 - 1:41AM

    Why does et present news from the American perspective

    Pakistan
    Already said no to this internal probe

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  • Cautious
    Dec 3, 2011 - 1:53AM

    Not participating will be interpreted by many as reluctance to expose the facts – an unwise decision which makes Pakistan look guilty. It’s interesting to watch how the American’s are responding this event — open for a joint investigation – no rush to judgement – no inflammatory language – complete opposite of Pakistan’s approach.

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  • Moeed Pirzada
    Dec 3, 2011 - 2:00AM

    During DGMO’s briefing on 29th Nov, I did personally raise this question of Joint Investigation, and we were told that between June and Sept, another 14 soldiers were killed and 13 injured in NATO fire and in all cases we entered into Joint Investigations but all stalled and no clear results came out and we don’t see any real use of such “Joint Investigations”….
    I however think that Pakistan should go for the Joint Investigations, should point out the unsatisfactory procedures or vague outcomes and should put up Terms and Conditions to make them effective; it should not reject a Joint Investigation out of hand; it should come up with proposals and counter proposals; it must engage the international opinion on this issue; afterall we have to move beyond this impasse, however critical it may be…rejecting the joint investigations at the outset, after taking a moral position in front of the whole country and the world will weaken our position and raise doubts; we must come up with ideas rather than shrinking into our shell and sulking there endlessly…….Moeed Pirzada

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  • Jadugar
    Dec 3, 2011 - 2:16AM

    Why is Pakistan reluctunt to participate in the investigation? Wouldnt Pakistan like to know what really happend that day Dosent the family of the dead deserve the truth, Why is it shying away. Why hasnt the Govt and the Army come out with detail of the fire fight, were these Jawans betrayed by their own. why didnt the airforce respond Too many unanswered question. Was this done to cut loose from the Americans The Pakistan Govt and the army really need to work on therir creditability.

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  • Salman
    Dec 3, 2011 - 2:44AM

    Pakistan army recognized post was attacked by US / ISAF gunship helicopters and special operation men. The duration of attack is over two hours and fifteen minutes. The end result is killing 24 army officers and officials.

    Remember, the above facts are widely accepted and non contradictory at any forum.

    Pakistan and its army is devoted to stand with ISAF / US army. It has paid the price of 35,000 innocent people and 4000 army officers & officials, in this war. SO, this sacrifice proves that we are committed towards helping international forces to fight the war and any alligation is baseless on Pakistan Army and Pakistan.

    The demand of Pakistan is obvious and clear. Transparent inquiry to the incident. Appology from highest quarter and clearly defining the terms of engagement. Sovereignty of Pakistan must be respected.

    I wonder why the west is worried in conducting transparent inquiry, and defining CLEARLY the terms of engagement.

    Not participating in Bonn conference is to register the protest that gross INJUSTICE has been made with Pakistan army and people of Pakistan in this Nato air strike killing 24 officers / officials.

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  • Mirza
    Dec 3, 2011 - 3:42AM

    Pakistan would never participate in any independent or International investigation, which would release its report with proofs in a month. In Pakistan no report ever comes out which deals with the failure of the army.

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  • khattak
    Dec 3, 2011 - 3:55AM

    Watch out for 2012 & 2013, US/NATO is planning to escalate aerial attacks on insurgent sanctuaries and cross-border raids with ground troops on tribal sancturies of Haqqani clan, Mullah Nazir & Hafiz Gul Bahadur. Message being given to Pakistan military is that if it cannot or will not eliminate insurgent havens, US forces will.

    It sounds like Pakistan will be bycotting all international forums from here onward. Finger cross who wins, Pak Army Generlas or US/NATO.Recommend

  • Nas
    Dec 3, 2011 - 4:05AM

    @cautious 24 paki not American soldiers have been killed.do u understand that.

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  • Maulana capitalist
    Dec 3, 2011 - 4:23AM

    That is actually a really stupid decision!

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Dec 3, 2011 - 6:10AM

    Present government and previous government of a general have made terrible and wrong decisions for Pakistan. How can be they right this time.

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  • Me2
    Dec 3, 2011 - 6:14AM

    @EX: it is affiliated with international herald tribune a subsidiary of new York times.
    But I dont doubt it’s journalistic integrity And it is I believe (I could be wrong) very much pro Pakistan

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  • Dec 3, 2011 - 6:19AM

    Criminal investigating himself. What a joke.

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  • Cipherman
    Dec 3, 2011 - 6:47AM

    @Cautious:
    Lets not forget on many occasion Americans have rush to judgment within hours of an incident or some attack. 24 Pakistanis sons are dead here. I wonder what would be your comment if the Americans were dead and made the judgment against Pakistan. Obviously, you would have still said they are right and Pakistan is wrong. My two cents.

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  • zalim singh
    Dec 3, 2011 - 7:06AM

    sorry. truth hurts

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  • Dec 3, 2011 - 7:46AM

    @Cautious:
    Ever heard of Kangaroo court?

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  • Basit
    Dec 3, 2011 - 8:29AM

    Who cares about their investigation. The US is an institutional lying nation built upon the genocide of the Native Americans which it has whitewashed.

    They will just say that their advanced optics and night vision cannot tell the difference between one brown person (Pakistani soldiers) and another brown person (Taliban).

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  • Arindom
    Dec 3, 2011 - 8:35AM

    Why is Pakistan afraid of a joint investigation? Because it knows it’s own double game.

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  • Somy
    Dec 3, 2011 - 8:36AM

    @Moise:
    Yeah, last time I heard, they were fully functional in pakistan, like Ijaz-haqqani court.OBL court, Saleem Shehzad court, mumbai investigation court… the list is endless.

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  • Hamid
    Dec 3, 2011 - 8:38AM

    The attack was deliberate, what is the point of investigation.

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  • My
    Dec 3, 2011 - 8:57AM

    @Cautious:
    Your comment is so……………well, so simplistic. Obviously They are calm because it is the Pakistani soldiers who died at their hands. Imagine their reaction had it happened in the opposite.

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  • Shyam
    Dec 3, 2011 - 9:48AM

    @Moise
    yeah you mean the pakistani courts which acquit terrorists

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  • Ahmed
    Dec 3, 2011 - 10:12AM

    @EX:
    problem is more than this action america has been attacking the pakistan with drone which causing more redicalization and extermism. That was the opportunity to disengage from the war of terror for pakistan. Thousand of people has been dead and million of there relative are now aganist with pakistan and usa. This war is absolutely failed like most of the wars of history. The only solution is to fully withdrawl of usa force immediately from Afghanistan and use UN peace keeping force of China, india, afghan, pakistan to find the solution. I think situation of america is not very good to fight war now. They should there resource on the developement of their country not on the wars.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Dec 3, 2011 - 10:35AM

    This is much the best decision by Pakistani civil and military officials because US’ and NATO’s officials will try their best and utmost to defend themselves and shall try their best and utmost to prove that this attack was conducted mistakenly and in self-defense,in the chasing of Taliban,etc etc but the facts are against the ground realities and this is truth and reality that the NATO’s choppers attacked on Pakistani check post Salala intentionally.In other words US’ and NATO’s officials’ joint investigation in this regard definitely and precisely shall be based on fabrication,fallacious and false stories and events.

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  • sultan
    Dec 3, 2011 - 10:44AM

    A super power conducting inquiry, where your ministers, ex-presidents, judges and generals are body searched and shoes in hand. Americans are bully, they would never let u have your hands on original data from the attack. So stop this nonsense and Pakistan has done right to refuse the joint investigation. We must keep our national interest supereme not America’s

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  • Guddu
    Dec 3, 2011 - 11:10AM

    @Moise: Memogate, OBL, GHQ air base attack, etc.Recommend

  • Dec 3, 2011 - 11:46AM

    Nothing to say anything,
    reality speaks itself,
    the pics printed at the front page of the EXPRESS TRIBUNE is enough as a documentary.
    evidence.
    Now trying to change scenario but it is very hard to deface it.
    If the united States want to restoration and further stability in the relations with Pakistan should step forward for apology that is the right way in favor of all.
    Outrage in the public is expending and extending in the country which can sink the boat of the government in such circumstances how can Pakistan participate in the Bonn conference that is very important in nature.

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  • Salman Khurshid
    Dec 3, 2011 - 12:03PM

    @Moeed Pirzada:
    Mr Moeed I mostly like the comments of yours and your point of view. But me and most of Pakistanies are confused, we are told to follow the athicks and values of law and moral but when we see the behaviours of other states and intrnational press, it seems that every thing use to exicute in an influanced way. They are moving on a well designed road map and our such feed back will make no differance. I feel that people like you who are well aware of international openion building should make some groups or comunity and raise your sound and defend your contry in the way it should be done. We annot depend on the government of the time. Secondly I feel that on national issues every one in international comunity have a bisced openion, only Pakistanies are brave enough to criticease every thing bravly, we should also review our attitude as well.

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  • jango
    Dec 3, 2011 - 12:04PM

    i think pakistan’s stance is not wrong.its very obvious that it was a deliberate attack because nato is not insane…so it is a lame excuse that this was an accident.they did so because they were not expecting strong opposition.and it was obvious that if pakistan does’nt oppose strongly this time,they will contineously show this kind of aggresion..on other hand this opposition can reconstruct the declining image and credibility of pakistan army among their own people..and may be pakistan has any interest for not attending the meeting…this incident is looking like a mysterious game from both sides…definitely future will reveal the truth…!

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  • Shahid Kureshi
    Dec 3, 2011 - 12:31PM

    Whom they want to destroy; they make friends first !

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  • Dec 3, 2011 - 12:42PM

    Looks like someone is afraid of the truth!

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  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Dec 3, 2011 - 2:04PM

    Was there any out come of the previous joint investigations??? America is giving a new narrative everyday, a new twist is given everyday trying to confuse & influence the investigations and also America promised to investigate & take action against Raymond davis for killing Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Dec 3, 2011 - 2:39PM

    I think the refusal to participate is the dumbest thing we can do!

    It means that we have already made up our minds as to who is the guilty party and nothing wll change that view. A bit immature if you ask me. This is not the way nations should behave.

    This is a repeat of the Memogate affair. HH is quilty without an investigation; here NATO is guilty and we will not participate in any investigation!

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  • Raj
    Dec 3, 2011 - 3:12PM

    @Meekal Ahmed:
    This really shows the actual integrity of the Govt and Army !!!
    What possible reason could they have for, not to participate in this investigation????
    Since the tragic events, so many officals, civilians and military have made so many statements, so now one assumes that all that show was for the consumption of local population and its going to be business as usual !!!
    As to the likelyhood of Pak Army conducting investigation and putting that in public domain is non existent !!!!

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  • R S JOHAR
    Dec 3, 2011 - 4:00PM

    Incase Pakistan has nothing to hide and want the truth to come out, it must join the joint investigations. Not joining would raise many questions and put Pakistan on the backfoot which it must avoid.

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  • Me2
    Dec 3, 2011 - 4:15PM

    @Shyam:
    And are coerced into releasing a criminal R Davis. When will our Indian friends get the moral courage to acknowledge the whole picture. With economic prosperity and military might acquiring a little bit of human respect and dignity and some sense of balance in their judgement would remove the worldwide image of them being Boys with baggy high waist trousers who are Good with coding and programming, and telemarketing with a fake American accent.

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  • abbas.alikhan
    Dec 3, 2011 - 4:59PM

    good decision by military

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  • Sobriquet
    Dec 3, 2011 - 5:05PM

    @Shahid Kureshi:
    You claim that Americans befriend those whom they want to destroy. Really? Did you include countries such as South Korea, Japan and Germany in your assessment? Your problem is that you, just as those from many other corrupt or despotic countries, are holding the US responsible for your failure—in both civil and economic development.

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  • Truth Teller
    Dec 3, 2011 - 5:05PM

    Refusing to participate is one of the craziest decision I have heard from our army. If you have issues to be resolved than this is the only logical way to discuss instead of bringing Mullah brigades on the streets of Pakistan. Really wierd decision!

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  • Haytt
    Dec 3, 2011 - 5:17PM

    @cautious , very much predictable and understandable from USA , Pakistan suffered with attack not the America , we lost the blood not USA, Instead of apologizing they are blaming Pakistan over this attack. secondly joint investigation is a tactical way to diffuse the tension , we have seen the joint investigation. Recommend

  • Aftab kenneth Wilson
    Dec 3, 2011 - 5:58PM

    Very strange and comical to know that we are refusing to join this investigation which can expose the truth behind this guilt if any from either side. Many eyebrows are raised on this refusal.

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  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Dec 3, 2011 - 6:07PM

    @Dr.Moeed Pirzada…….How could they be judge,jury &” executioners”.The inquiry should be conducted by an independent & impartial party mutually agreed by both Pakistan & America.Considering our past experience we should not trust the Americans.Aside from other such incidents,just keep in perspective Raymond’s case and visit of senator John Kerry & what he said & promised addressing the Pakistani Nation,not a single word he said has been fulfilled.Raymond has not been tried in America as promised by John Kerry….Raymond, a killer remains at large till today.Enough is Enough…..K.Salim Jahangir

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  • Muhammad Hanif Awan
    Dec 3, 2011 - 7:09PM

    We should not play in the hands of EXTREMISTS. Please note that TABLE TALK is a better place than the BATTLE FIELD always.For GOD sake,be careful n not do any absurd act. Some PEOPLE want to destroy PAKISTAN,these are the EXTREMISTS who never accepted PAKISTAN as an independent country.I appeal my dear countrymen to be cool n not reactive.WE LOVE OUR BELOVED PAKISTAN N PAKISTANIS…………………………….Recommend

  • Muhammad Hanif Awan
    Dec 3, 2011 - 7:11PM

    Please be careful PAKISTANIS from all kind of EXTREMISTS.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Dec 3, 2011 - 8:13PM

    This is a good judgment of Pakistani Authorities.

    There is no way that US or NATO is going to take the blame of killing 24 army personnel at Mohmand Agency. Had Pakistan joined the investigations, it would have been a one sided story and the ultimate result would have been that Pakistani troops opened fired first and in retaliation or self defense, NATO helicopters attacked the check post in which 24 army soldiers got killed.

    After dealing with US for the last 64 years, the Pakistani Authorities knew very well as what is the mentality of US Administration.

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  • Shyam
    Dec 3, 2011 - 9:33PM

    @Me2

    “And are coerced into releasing a criminal R Davis.”

    You just proved my point, By the way, you speak better english than we do, so said Mushy and by the way 99.9% of the population in India does not code or work in call centers

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  • R S JOHAR
    Dec 3, 2011 - 10:00PM

    @Mirza:
    Dr, how right you are. I always enjoy and appreciate your crisp and logical comments.

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  • Star
    Dec 3, 2011 - 10:27PM

    ow many times …enough is enough…

    Shoot them,even if they approach the buffer zone of PAK-Afghan border….

    don’t wait for direct fire next time…Recommend

  • Pk
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:16AM

    Pakistan can/is conducting its own investigation. Why should it jointly sit with those meesna foreigners as they pretend to ”investigate?” Why project a bonhomie that doesn’t exist? They should take a a stand because this attack is a serious issue.

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  • Dec 4, 2011 - 6:15AM

    @Shyam:
    Funny how Int’l Bankers backed Blosheviks are replaced by Islamists to destabilize nation states. Stop blaming Pakistan for crimnal agencies like CIA and their cronies in Pakistan.

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  • Dec 4, 2011 - 6:19AM

    @Guddu:
    Here are lies from your US utopia since beginning and now they are investigating it.

    Shelling from Pakistan side
    Pakistan side fired first
    Taliban made NATO do it
    Pakistan Army gave go ahead for attack

    US backers’ logic is getting absurd everyday.

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  • Maddy Khan
    Dec 4, 2011 - 9:15AM

    Pakistan Army is as usual runing off and dont want to be investigated for anything. Howcome they woke up one fine morning and realized that US is not a friend, how about the hundreds of people we have sold to US, billions of dollars they get to sign arm deals and buy planes.. so much to list but…

    I wish my this country can have a well structured, obedient to parliment, and a properly audited army.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Dec 5, 2011 - 7:58AM

    QUESTION: What does Pakistan gain by not participating in a joint investigation? ANSWER: The Pakistani officers at the joint communication center (where the foul-up occurred) won’t have to testify in an open forum when communication logs and on-site recordings of this entire event at the centre will be played back and reviewed!

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