Salala tragedy: Army rejects US probe on NATO air raid

Insists Pakistan should not share the blame with US.

Zahid Gishkori January 24, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army on Monday rejected US findings on last year’s Nato cross-border air attack that killed 24 of its soldiers, terming the incident a failure on the part of Washington and linking it to a lack of unified military command in Afghanistan.

“US/Isaf (International Security Assistance Force) violated all mutually agreed procedures with Pakistan for near-border operations put in place to avert such uncalled for actions,” said a 25-page statement issued by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The US investigation report, released on December 22, found that both American and Pakistani forces were to blame for the incident in Mohmand Agency, which had inflamed already strained ties.

“Pakistan does not agree with several portions and findings of the investigation report as these are factually not correct,” according to the ISPR report.

Pakistan Army, on its part, had on numerous occasions and at all levels highlighted the potential problems associated with not having all the forces in the Afghan theatre under a unified command, the statement added.

“This is disturbingly indicative of fundamental flaws in the US/Isaf/Nato procedures.”

The army further expressed its annoyance that the US military in its report considered its Pakistani counterpart in an ‘adversarial role’ and not a friend.

“Implicit in the mandate is the fact that Pakistan was considered in an adversarial role and not part of friendly forces.”

The military also expressed regret over the mandate and terms of reference given to the investigating team, which was not mandated to determine or affix responsibility for the incident.

Despite promises of thorough investigations, the US/Isaf failed to hold anyone accountable after each of these incidents, the ISPR statement said.

“Affixing partial responsibility of the incident on Pakistan is therefore unjustified and unacceptable,” it added.

Furthermore, the army regretted that in an effort to provide justification for Nato/Isaf actions, the US investigation report had gone to extreme lengths to construct the whole incident as an act of self defence.

ISPR further noted that there were instructions given to US personnel, as mentioned in the US/Isaf investigation report, wherein information to Pakistan military was to be deliberately withheld. “Had the disclosure been honest and as per the agreed procedures, the attacks could have been stopped at the earliest and precious lives saved,” it stated.

Moreover, the military regretted that the impartiality and transparency of the US investigation was adversely affected when senior US officials repeatedly stated that the incident was “not intentional”, without waiting for completion of the investigation.

The army also sought additional details from Isaf and Nato to complete its investigations into the incident.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 24th, 2012.


Tony C. | 11 years ago | Reply

@US CENTCOM: Dear Major Nevers, You and the high command at US CENTCOM still have not got it in regard to Afghanistan. The U.S. have created serious problems in Afghanistan/Pakistan, and the problems will not go away until U.S./NATO forces get out. Every country has problems, but for reasons best known to Washington and the Pentagon, the U.S. has created an absolute debacle in the Afghan/Pakistan area. When you have gone the problems basic to Afghanistan will still remain, but they cannot be solved whilst U.S./NATO personnel remain there. Please do everybody a favour and get out, stop carrying "the white man's burden", stop trying to change their customs and way of life, forget the "noble mission" whatever it is supposed to be, and let the Afghans run their own country. You have been trying to do, whatever it is that you have in mind, for ten years, and failed completely. Allow the locals to have a go at solving their own problems. The end result of their efforts cannot be any worse than yours. A lot of people may or may not be killed, but so far your efforts have resulted in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and others being bombed into the "stone age", well over half a million dead civilians, infrastructures in a tangled mess, valuable resources such as oil stolen, and close to a hundred million people struggling to get their lives back in order. The Afghan people cannot solve these type of problems whilst U.S. personnel are throwing grenades into their houses and urinating on their dead bodies.

kamran | 11 years ago | Reply

I am ashamed with comments that tarrifs should be increased, does honour have a price.

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