Pakistan: Rejects U.S. Investigation on NATO Attack

Islamabad, Dec 28. -Pakistan challenged an investigation by the United States on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) air attack against check points on the border with Afghanistan, because they consider it inappropriate that a top US official involved in the events headed the investigation.

Military sources reported by Geo News private television said the research team will not be able to give conclusions and recommendations worthy of consideration because it was headed by Brigadier General Stephen Clark, who commanded the forces involved in the attack.

It was an inappropriate election, because the investigation should be carried out by a neutral person, it was reported.

Round about midnight on Nov.26, aircraft from NATO deployed in Afghanistan bombed Pakistani border check points and killed 24 of its personnel.

Washington expressed "deep sorrow" to the relatives of the victims, but they have not formally apologized to Islamabad and, on the contrary, held the Pakistani Army partly responsible

According to their investigations, both the US and the Pakistani troops made mistakes that led to the tragic incident.

Pakistan asserts that the US gave wrong coordinates of the attack target and NATO aircrafts continued machine gunning the check points, even long after they were warned of the mistake.

One of the first answers by Islamabad was to close the passage through its territory for 50 percent of the fuel and other supplies to the occupying troops in Afghanistan, a decision that still stands.

The government also demanded that Washington evacuate the drones base leased in the northwestern province of Baluchistan, and refused to attend an international conference on Afghanistan's future.

Already eroded by incidents such as the covert operation that ended with the death of Osama Bin Laden last May 2, the relations between the two nations had fallen to the lowest level after the border incident, which had been condemned by all political parties and the population. (PL)