NATO attack deliberate: Pakistan
ISLAMABAD / BUSAN, South Korea
Supporters of a Pakistani religious party rally condemning NATO strikes on Pakistani soldiers, Nov 29. Pakistan says it will boycott the Bonn meeting in Germany. AP Photo
A senior Pakistani army official has said a NATO cross-border air attack that killed 24 soldiers was a deliberate, blatant act of aggression, hardening Pakistan’s stance on an incident which could hurt efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
In a briefing to editors carried in local newspapers yesterday, Major-General Ishfaq Nadeem, director general of military operations, also said NATO forces were alerted they were attacking Pakistani posts, but helicopters kept firing. “Detailed information of the posts was already with ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), including map references, and it was impossible that they did not know these to be our posts,” The News quoted Nadeem as saying. NATO attack on Nov. 26 killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday voiced regret that Pakistan had announced a boycott of a meeting on Afghanistan in Germany and urged it to reconsider. Speaking at an aid conference in South Korea, Clinton reiterated the U.S. stance that the border killing of Pakistani soldiers was a “tragic incident” and pledged an investigation “as swiftly and thoroughly as possible.”
Pakistan’s prime minister has also rejected a personal request from the Afghan president to reconsider Islamabad’s decision to boycott an upcoming conference on Afghanistan in Bonn.
Compiled from Reuters and AP stories by the Daily News staff.