Friday, December 2, 2011

What's hapening in Pak-Afghan border? Funny?

American officials claim Pakistani Army officers approved fatal air strike

Pakistani officials gave the go-ahead for Nato strikes that killed 24 of their troops last weekend, according to the latest American account of a raid that has poisoned relations between the two countries.

Pakistani protesters burn a U.S. flag during an anti-Nato rally in Peshawar, Pakistan Photo: AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad
Rob Crilly in Islamabad
11:31AM GMT 02 Dec 2011
The two awkward allies have pointed the finger at each other in a diplomatic crisis that threatens to derail hopes of peace in Afghanistan.

Pakistan's military and civilian leaders insist Nato forces knew the location of its border posts and launched a deliberate, unprovoked attack.

However, American officials now say a Pakistani officer at a border co-ordination unit – set up to avoid misunderstanding of exactly this kind – told a joint US-Afghan patrol that Pakistan had no forces in the area clearing the way for the Americans to conduct air strikes.

"There were lots of mistakes made," an official told The Wall Street Journal. "There was not good situational awareness to who was where and who was doing what." Officials also cautioned that the latest account is based on initial interviews with the commandos involved and could change as more details come to light.
The US and Nato have sent condolences and expressed regret for the attack but have pointedly not offered an apology to Pakistan.

In response, Islamabad has withdrawn from a key conference in Germany to plot the future of Afghanistan, closed its borders to Nato supply convoys and begun a review of all relations with the US.

Relations have long been tense between the two allies, with Washington accusing elements of Pakistan's military and intelligence services of collaboration with the Taliban and other Islamist militants.

Pakistan has in turn alleged that US drone strikes aimed at militants have killed scores of civilians, stoking extremism and bolstering its own domestic Islamist insurgency.

A senior Pakistani security official rubbished the latest American account of the events.

"The attack was already well under way before any attempt was made to contact the border co-ordination unit," he told The Daily Telegraph.

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