By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Pakistan’s military has rejected the conclusions of a U.S.-led investigation into a NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month near the Afghan border.
The investigation, released December 22 in Washington, concluded that both American and Pakistani forces made mistakes in the incident.
Hours after the findings of the probe were released, Pakistani army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said Pakistan does not agree with the results. He accused the investigation of being “short on facts.”
Pakistan, which has suggested the U.S. strike on its troops was deliberate, had refused to participate in the investigation of the November 25-26 incident.
U.S. Brigadier General Stephen Clark, who led the investigation, faulted what he called an “overarching lack of trust” between the Pakistani and U.S. sides that led to poor communication and errors.
“Inadequate coordination by U.S. and Pakistani military officers operating through the Border Coordination Center, 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,” Pentagon spokesman George Little told a briefing in Washington.
“This, coupled with other gaps in information about the activities and placement of units from both sides, contributed to the tragic result.”
The U.S. spokesman offered Washington’s “deepest regret” for the incident, but did not express a formal apology.
The incident prompted Pakistan to shut down ground routes used by NATO to deliver supplies into Afghanistan, and also to order the United States to leave an air base in Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province that was used to launch U.S. drone flights.