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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan: US report on NATO attack not based on facts

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Dec 29, IRNA -- Pakistan said on Thursday that it is reviewing a Pentagon report over the last month NATO attack on two Pakistani posts which killed 24 soldiers.

The November 26 NATO strike in Mohmand tribal region, bordering Afghanistan, has caused a severe blow to the Pakistan-US relations.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said in Islamabad that a detailed reaction will be issued on the Pentagon report after going through the full document, but he added the report seems not to be based on facts.

The Foreign Ministry statement comes a day after Pakistan military reportedly rejected the report as bias.

A US military investigation has concluded that it took about 90 minutes for NATO officers to notify a senior commander about Pakistan's calls that its outposts were under attack, underscoring a lack of timely senior-level 'override' measures to avoid deadly cross-border errors like last month's air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

But by then, military communications between the two sides had sorted out a chain of errors and the shooting had already stopped.

The delays by two different officers raise questions about whether a faster response could have spared the lives of Pakistani soldiers.

An unclassified version of the report, released on Monday by the military’s Central Command on its website, also revealed for the first time that an American AC-130 gunship flew two miles into Pakistani territory.

The United States and Pakistan disagree about the sequence of events in the cross-border attack.

Talking about the Pakistan-US relations, the Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said that Pakistan's relations with the US saw several ups and downs during the current year, adding that Islamabad wanted relations with the US based on mutual respect.

He said that national security and development are two aspects of its foreign policy and the country gives great importance to relations with China and is proud of it.

Basit said that the Pakistan was also trying to improve ties with Russia and had better relations with Iran and Turkey.

The spokesman said that Pakistan also gave great importance to relations with Muslim countries.

Basit added that the country was also working to strengthen relations with African countries.

Basit said that thousands of Pakistanis were playing great role in the development of Afghanistan.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30739421

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