Cross-border raid fallout: Pakistan recalls officers from border post

Published: December 8, 2011
A still image taken from an ISPR (Inter Services Public Relations) video shows a white flag in a Pakistani army post after a Nato attack in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area November 30, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS/ISPR

A still image taken from an ISPR (Inter Services Public Relations) video shows a white flag in a Pakistani army post after a Nato attack in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area November 30, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS/ISPR

In a move reflecting the gravity of fallout in bilateral relations with the United States, Pakistan withdrew several soldiers from posts along the country’s border with Afghanistan, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

The military has called back one officer from each of four posts to army headquarters, the paper said.

Pakistani officers work alongside Nato at four bases along the Afghan border to try to ensure that both sides know the locations of friendly troops.

Lt Col Jimmie Cummings, a spokesperson for the international coalition in Kabul, said the Pakistani military had not notified international forces of any official withdrawal.

“We look forward to continuing our long relationship with them,” he was quoted by The Telegraph as saying.

Recalled for consultation

Two senior military officials were quoted by CNN as saying the recall of troops is part of Pakistan’s investigation into the cross-border Nato airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

The army spokesperson Major General Athar Abbas, however, said the decision to recall officers from the joint border posts was not intended as a protest.

“Some of them have been called back for consultation but only temporarily,” The Telegraph quoted him as saying. “This is all about improving the consultation with international forces in Afghanistan.”

The Pakistani soldiers will return to their posts after the consultations are complete, Abbas said.

Meanwhile, Captain John F Kirby, the acting deputy assistant secretary of defense said he hopes Pakistan’s officers can return to border coordination centers soon.

Speaking to The Express Tribune late Tuesday, Captain Kirby said: “We are aware that Pakistan has decided to remove some of their liaison officers from some of the border coordination centers.  This is certainly Pakistan’s right. We hope those liaison officers can resume their duties soon inasmuch as their presence is designed to help us reduce the risk of another such incident occurring.”

With additional reporting by Huma Imtiaz in WASHINGTON

Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (35)

  • Dec 6, 2011 - 2:30PM

    don’t let NATO do that again, Pak Army ZindabadRecommend

  • Dec 6, 2011 - 3:07PM

    A Step in the RIGHT Direction


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Dec 6, 2011 - 3:20PM

    After blocking NATO supplies from Pakistani route and getting the Shamshi airbase vacated by the US, Pakistani troops should remain on high-alert position within the territorial limits of the country.

    Any air or ground strike by US/NATO forces should be given a forceful reply and any violation of Pakistan airspace by the US/NATO drone should dealt severely. Drone should be shot down at soon as it is seen in the Pakistan’s airspace by our air force pilots without informing the enemy that it is violating Pakistan’s territorial limits.

    The water has started overflowing our heads.

    We are not meant to sink in any case and under any circumstances.

    We do not consider US any more as a friendly country of Pakistan, as friends do not kill friendly soldiers. Mohamad Agency attack by US/NATO forces were not friendly fires.

    The nation should be fully prepared to deal with any eventuality and adventurism by the enemy.


  • Uzair
    Dec 6, 2011 - 3:34PM

    Things unfold in the aftermath of Musharaf’s stepping down. He certainly had some dark agreements with the US which had Pakistani forces in some sort of a handicap. But Pakistan army made full use of this incident and has put immense pressure to corner Nato and the US.


  • sundar
    Dec 6, 2011 - 4:03PM

    The news item is somewhat confusing. If Pakistan has decided to vacate the border posts to prevent another tragedy, why does that lead to NATO being ‘more cautious to prevent another mistake’. There can’t be another incident of Pakistani soldiers getting caught in the cross fire if they are not there anymore – may be the report is clearly written.


  • Ram
    Dec 6, 2011 - 4:13PM

    It appears to me that the pressure put by Pak on US is more than what US had put on PAK during OBL raid. While I sympathize for the 24 innocent soldiers / families, I do expect equal, (if not more) sympathy from Pakistanis towards innocent lives lost in Mumbai 26/11 due to terrorism emanating from Pak. Once again my sympathies are for the 24 innocent lives and their families


  • Saj
    Dec 6, 2011 - 4:20PM

    Waiting for formal apology? mere apology? and not to punish those who were responsible for this “mistake”. Just an apology? My heart bleeds


  • Dec 6, 2011 - 4:45PM


    Plz keep your incompetency, to deal your local problems, away from this current situation.

    Who killed Hemant Karkray is not a secret now.

    Plz deal with people like Colonel Prohet and than you should be playing innocent in this forum.


  • Ture Pakistan
    Dec 6, 2011 - 4:57PM

    Yes, this is the Direction.


  • A2Z
    Dec 6, 2011 - 5:03PM

    @Ram I hope you also sympathise for the tragic death of Pakistanis who lost their lives in Samjhota express carnage due to the terrorism emanating from India. Along with other deaths I also sympathise for the death of Hemnant Karkare who foiled the real culprits of Samjotha Express. Before that investigation India was blaming Pakistan for that incident.


    Dec 6, 2011 - 5:13PM

    Too late by Pakistan”


  • MarkH
    Dec 6, 2011 - 5:26PM

    Don’t worry, they won’t be getting one anyways. It’s not an actual future outcome to be concerned with.


  • Was a Pakistani
    Dec 6, 2011 - 6:03PM

    @Ture Pakistan:
    I hope the aid is totally cut and then we will see if it was the right move


  • maestro
    Dec 6, 2011 - 6:07PM

    Dear sir, a large number if not majority of Pakistanis condoled 26/11. It was a disgusting act of violence against innocents – my own mother was visiting Mumbai 2 weeks before and had lunch at the Taj – she cried when she heard the news – she just said oh my God I was just there! Don’t think that Pakistanis didnt feel your pain that day. On the same token, Indians should also publicly condole terrorist events in Pakistan like the Islamabad Marriot blast that killed over 60! This kind of reciprocity is what will break down these walls of mistrust between us. And thank you for being kind enough to condole the loss of our soldiers. May India and Pakistan and the rest of the world learn to live in PEACE. The key is to interact not just at a government level but people level. That breaks down all misconceptions and enmity. Trade with each other, play sports with each other, hang out with each other. No government will be able to break that bond once it happens. Don’t judge a nation of 180 million by a few bad apples.


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Dec 6, 2011 - 6:10PM

    How come allowing easy movement of Taliban across the border beneficial to Pakistan and harmful to US?
    Seems this thinking is similar to that of a suicide bomber – “I will die and hopefully might cause you some harm too”Recommend

  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Dec 6, 2011 - 6:15PM

    We have protected them for ten long years.This is an intelligent move,now let them fight for themselves & have the taste of their own medicine.We are not the 53rd state of the US.


  • SM
    Dec 6, 2011 - 6:53PM

    If Iran can shoot down drones, Pakistan can do way better… but our leaders are all “mir jaffars”


  • riz
    Dec 6, 2011 - 7:08PM

    big oppurtunity!!!!!!
    govt can take bold decision to restore his confiodence among masses and shut the mouth of opposition


  • Raj
    Dec 6, 2011 - 7:15PM

    Then why play denial game until cornered, to even acknowledge the basic fact that these were Pakistanis and why did the Govt not even accept the dead bodies back????
    So they can keep up their denials !!!!!


  • Cautious
    Dec 6, 2011 - 7:22PM

    I am sure NATO or Afghanistan could care less whether you close your border outpost — it is apparent that these outpost have never been effective in keeping terrorist from moving from crossing the border.


  • Noman
    Dec 6, 2011 - 7:29PM

    I am afraid soon we will see lethal and vital supplies passing through Pakistan on its way to US/NATO forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan just wants a higher price and some face saving for its historic role against fellow Muslims and neighbors.Recommend

  • Anjaan
    Dec 6, 2011 - 7:29PM

    @ maestro, and other Pakistanis,

    It is always said by the sane Pakistani commentators that there is a vast but silent population within Pakistan that want peace with India.

    The day you Pakistanis will standup and speak against the masterminds of the Mumbai massacre, only then it will count.

    Do you have the guts …… ? Recommend

  • Dec 6, 2011 - 7:31PM

    Pakistan has the best professional military do no test our patience any more, or else be ready fight usRecommend

  • Dec 6, 2011 - 7:32PM

    Long Live PakistanRecommend

  • AD
    Dec 6, 2011 - 7:34PM

    Pak will open all door to the US if US just blocked the all foreign accounts of Pak leaders.


  • Dec 6, 2011 - 7:43PM

    Pakistani public opinion is anti-US for some time now. Presently we are seeing a anti-Pakistan public opinion developing in US. US public opinion about Pakistan is graduating from being disturbing to difficult. Such statements by the opposition senators there suggests that Americans are getting fed up and are looking in terms of punishing Pakistan. Further we are going to have elections in the US very soon. With US-Pak relations sliding as rapidly as they are Pakistan bashing can really emerge as a prime election activity in the near future in USA. ( source: )The Republicans will have a real opportunity of converting the general hate towards muslims in USA into a ” Punish Pakistan ” campaign. Such a campaign can have a larger mass appeal than the usual promise of economic recovery about which the US voters are already somewhat heart broken. A promise of a hard policy towards Pakistan can emerge as a potential game changer for the Republicans specially if Obama administration presents a soft face on Pakistan now.


  • MK
    Dec 6, 2011 - 8:01PM

    its better to watch AnjaanaAnjanee instead of commenting here


  • Mirza
    Dec 6, 2011 - 8:10PM

    The price of cooperation keeps getting more and more. This can only continue till the US forces withdraw. After that or even after the US elections in Nov 2012, it would be treated as extortion and blackmail. It is an open secret and both sides know about it.


    Dec 6, 2011 - 9:21PM

    Once again PAK being caught in its double game must do whatever it can to save face and put a different spin on what occurred at the border.

    There is no question the US forces because of their GPS capability knew not only where they were on the ground but also where they were receiving fire. It is equally true that coordination was done with the PAK army prior to the air strike.

    One way to be able to deny such an event in the future is not to be a party to any operation. Then the double game can continue as it has for these many years.Recommend

  • Babloo
    Dec 6, 2011 - 9:51PM

    Please help me understand this. First Pakistan threatened that if its forces were attacked by NATO on the western border , they would move the forces to Eastern border.
    Now it has vacated itrs posts on the western border in retaliation of attacks and incursions ? So if someone attacks Pakistan forces , in retaliation, Pakistan retreats and vacates its positions so that its not attacked anymore ?
    Did I get this wrong ?


  • Dec 6, 2011 - 11:46PM

    ” a Pakistani officer as saying that the information given to the Pakistani border coordination unit prior to the attack was incorrect.”

    What information was that, exactly?


  • PK
    Dec 6, 2011 - 11:53PM

    don’t tell me those dead people told you that they came from pakistan. Apart from that, the only survivor you caught red handed is worshiper of “baghwan” not Allah and JuD don’t need to send hindu to do that. Lastly ajmal doesn’t know everything during his confession. Please have a look. However we want India to stop interfering in Baluchistan as your consulates and embassy in Afghanistan are receiving separatists and arming them.
    Lastly, we want culprits, incl Prasad Shrikant Purohit, of samjhota express to be handed over to pakistan and your organisation, Abhinav Bharat, should be banned. Get your house in order first before point fingers at PAKISTAN.

  • Dec 7, 2011 - 12:19AM

    “Pakistan leaving border coordination units on Afghan border”. A good example of how not to write a headline. The headline could be understood as saying that Pakistan is leaving in place the border coordination units on the Afghan border while in actual fact what was being said is clear in the first few lines of the main story, that ‘Pakistan is pulling out troops from…… border coordination units at the Pak-Afghan border’. Expect better from the ET.


  • ksri
    Dec 8, 2011 - 10:51AM

    “Don’t judge a nation of 180 million by a few bad apples.”

    The problem here is bad apples are close to the power in Pakistan. The “bad apples” also provide state protection and patronage to bad guys from all over the world. The “bad apples” prefer the company of the terrorists to friendship with 1 billion people.


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