Cabinet meeting: Did not have orders to respond to Nato attack says DGMO

Published: December 8, 2011
Gilani presided over a cabinet meeting on Thursday. PHOTO: PPI

Gilani presided over a cabinet meeting on Thursday. PHOTO: PPI

ISLAMABAD: Director General Military Operations (DGMO) said on Thursday that they did not have orders to respond to the November 26 Nato attack.  The statement was made at a cabinet meeting in Islamabad, sources said.

Responding to a question at the cabinet meeting on why the military did not respond to the attack, the DGMO said that they did not have orders to respond and that the  communications system was destroyed. He added that in the future they would respond accordingly if attacked.

Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani presided over the Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.

The Federal Cabinet was given a detailed briefing by the DGMO over the NATO/ ISAF attack on Pakistan’s border post in Mohmand Agency. It noted that Pakistan’s strong protest had been conveyed to all concerned and all necessary steps have been taken to upgrade the defenses of the country.

Restructuring of loss making govt entities

The Cabinet also discussed the reformation and restructuring of loss making government entities.

Gilani expressed his resolve regarding restructuring and reforms of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Railways, Steel Mill and KESC. It was decided that the Cabinet will meet every week instead of fortnightly to review the progress being made in the state owned enterprises wherein the finance minister will brief the Cabinet, presenting an overview of the reformation progress.

Gilani also expressed his resolve to reform and restructure the power and other public sector entities on a war footing and said that he will personally monitor the progress in this area.

According to sources, addressing the cabinet, Gilani said that President Asif Ali Zardari did not want to travel to Dubai but did so on the insistence of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders and cabinet members.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Cautious
    Dec 8, 2011 - 9:59PM

    that they did not have orders to
    respond to the November 26 Nato

    That seems to imply that the military was waiting for orders from the Civilian govt – who’s going to believe that?. I suppose they were waiting for orders from the Civilian govt when a few terrorist took over your Naval base — or when a few terrorist attacked the military HQ.


  • ayesha
    Dec 8, 2011 - 11:19PM

    Civilian leadership was informed about bombing only next day, so obviously no orders were expected from them.

    The only leadership that COULD have given the orders was the military leadership and DGMO is now stating that they did not give order to respond.

    DGMO’s rationale for not giving orders is that communication infrastructure was borken. This leads to several further questions:

    3.1 if the communication infrastructure at the site was broken , how did they let the leadership know about the bombing in a timely fashin? We know they did because army says that they requested NATO forces to stop bombing but they ignored army please.
    3.2 If for whatever reason the breakdown in communication is the true reason, what does this state about the army’s preparedness to deal with situations that are surely unexpected (i.e that the enemy bombardment could impact communication infrastructure?)

    The statement that army did not expect any attack from Western border is not correct. After May 2 Kayani actually mentioned that now onwards they would also have to monitor for sovereignty breach from the Western side.

    Will someone in army take accountability here?


  • You Said It
    Dec 8, 2011 - 11:29PM

    the DGMO said that they did not have orders to respond and that the communications system was destroyed.

    The Army has become professional at inventing lame excuses. Why is it that they didn’t need orders to mount the Kargil operation, but need orders to defend the lives of soldiers under attack.

    The communications system was destroyed — were the soldiers’ guns also destroyed?

    I also don’t understand why the Army keeps saying that they pleaded with NATO to stop the attacks, but the attacks continued. So they didn’t know about the attacks to send help to the soldiers (because comm broke down), but still knew enough to ask NATO to stop. No wonder our country has lost credibility and no one believes anything we say.


  • J. Khan
    Dec 8, 2011 - 11:57PM

    @You said it
    Think about the reprecussions of attacking NATO helicopters. Even though it was an unprovoked and intentional attack, the soldiers on the ground did their best to defend themselves (according to various reports I have read anyways). The army could never, under ambiguous circumstances, authorise attacking NATO forces for fear of escalation of conflict. Now that the facts are clearer, i’m sure the armed forces will respond to any aggression with full force.


  • Meekal Ahmed
    Dec 9, 2011 - 12:06AM

    Regarding power sector “reforms”.

    Does the PM Secretariat pays it’s electricity bills?


  • Sajid
    Dec 9, 2011 - 1:52AM

    the DGMO said that they did not have
    orders to respond and that the
    communications system was destroyed.

    Where were the orders supposed to come from? If they were waiting for civilian orders did they contact the prime minister or president.
    Sorry to say but I have lost trust in our armys ability to protect us.


  • Jadugar
    Dec 9, 2011 - 4:59AM

    Excuses has become the standard policy of the inept Pakistan Army, I really believe that the armed forces ( Top Brass ) has no capability to deal with any foreign aggression, nor are they prepared to defend the country, the excuses are to many and to often. The armed forces need as much overhauling as the other major institution’s.


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