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US jets, helicopters committed omission in raid

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Rawalpindi Jan. 23,IRNA -- Pakistani Army Monday said that the US/NATO and ISAF forces had made a ‘major omission’ in their border operation in November, which had caused deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers.

The army, in its detailed reaction to a U.S. inquiry report of the November 26 NATO strike on two Pakistani posts, said the U.S fighter jets and helicopters carried out ‘unprovoked engagement of Pakistani Posts located inside Pakistan violating their mandate which is limited to Afghanistan alone’.

“The fundamental cause of the incident of 26th November 2011 was the failure of US/ISAF to share its near-border operation with Pakistan at any level,” an army statement said.

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) in its inquiry report last month said the U.S. forces had failed to verify the location of Pakistani units before ordering the attack but blamed Pakistani forces for firing first.

The report had also stated that both the U.S. and Pakistani forces share the blame for the attack.

“This obviously was a major omission, as were several others, like the complicated chain of command, complex command and control structure and unimaginative/intricate Rules of Engagement as well as lack of unified military command in Afghanistan,” the Pakistan army statement said.

The army said the US / ISAF violated all mutually agreed procedures with Pakistan for near-border operations put in place to avert such uncalled for actions.

The U.S. report had also stated that the NATO forces had fired in self-defence after being fired at by Pakistani forces, but Pakistan army disagreed with the notion.

“The US Investigation Report is structured around the argument of ‘self defence’ and ‘proportional use of force’, an argument which is contrary to facts,” the Pakistan army said.

It said that the continued engagement by US / ISAF despite being informed about the incident at multiple levels by Pakistan Military within minutes of initiation of US / ISAF fire, belies the “self defence” and “proportional use of force” contention.

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

The army said Pakistan does not agree with several portions and findings of the Investigation Report as these are factually not correct.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30778471

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