US, finally comes to common terms with Pakistani demand, offering an apology to the Pakistani people on the air strike it conducted near the Afghan border that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
Earlier since the attack, US remained stubborn and dismissed any term related to an official apology with Pakistani government. Pakistan, however, remained firm on the demand and asked US to vacate one of its bases.
Plenty of hush-hush was seen among the general media on the sharp deprecating US-Pakistan relationship.
Finally US, In the statement today, released an official apology to Pakistan saying they deeply regret for the “tragic loss of life” caused by the air strike in Mohmand tribal agency on 26 November.
“Inadequate co-ordination by US and Pakistani military officers operating through the border co-ordination centre – including our reliance on incorrect mapping information shared with the Pakistani liaison officer – resulted in a misunderstanding about the true location of Pakistani military units,” it said.
“This, coupled with other gaps in information about the activities and placement of units from both sides, contributed to the tragic result.”
In a news briefing later at the Pentagon, spokesman George Little said: “For the loss of life and for the lack of proper co-ordination between US and Pakistani forces that contributed to those losses we express our deepest regret.
“We further express sincere condolences to the Pakistani people, to the Pakistani government and, most importantly, to the families of the Pakistani soldiers who were killed or wounded.”
At the same briefing, Brig Gen Stephen Clark who led the investigation, said US and Afghan forces had landed in the area to search a village and had been fired upon from a ridge above it.
He said an “overarching lack of trust” between the US and Pakistan had contributed to the breakdown in communication.
Gen Clark said the “first point of failure” was a miscommunication between various command points about whether there were Pakistani troops in the area.
“What they (US headquarters) were told back on the phone is: “We are checking with the BCC (border co-ordination centre) but we are tracking no PakMil (Pakistani military) in the area.
“That was heard at the lower headquarters as: no PakMil are in the area which was then radioed to the ground force commander. (This) began circular reporting back to the regional command who then assumed that the lower echelons had in fact validated and confirmed there was no PakMil in the area.”
He said coalition forces had at first staged a “show of force” to make it clear who they were. When firing continued from the ridge, he said, air strikes were carried out.
He said there were three separate engagements before US forces ceased firing.
He added that the next day troops searched the village and “uncovered a considerable cache” of weapons in connection with the ill-fated operation.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, US and Afghan commandos made a series of mistakes on 26 November.
They incorrectly concluded there were no Pakistani forces in the Afghan border area where the coalition was conducting an operation – which cleared the way for a Nato air strike that devastated Pakistani positions.
After the initial strike, the US compounded its mistake by providing inaccurate data to a Pakistani military representative at the border co-ordination centre, missing an opportunity to stop the fighting.
Pakistani officials have denied that their troops on the ridge opened fire first on the commandos.
If you ask me, US is playing the cards very cleverly, firstly they say there was a lack of communication – But as per reports US deliberately did not communicate with Pakistan fearing the leak of information, then US said there was no Pakistani soldiers there in the border, then they blame it on Afghan commandos, lastly, calling Pakistan to once again join with them with a statement ”We cannot operate effectively on the border — or in other parts of our relationship — without addressing the fundamental trust still lacking between us. We earnestly hope the Pakistani military will join us in bridging that gap”.
In the end though,US wants Pakistan to help them on their mission and they do not care about the hundreds of thousands of civilians and soldiers death by their hands.