Senior official: NATO air attack on Pakistani troops was in self-defense

“A more troubling explanation would be that insurgents in the area were operating under the nose of Pakistani security forces.” It could be a tragic accident, but unfortunately, there is also ample precedent for such allegations.

An update on this story. “Nato air attack on Pakistani troops was self-defence, says senior western official,” by Jon Boone for the Guardian, November 26:

An attack by Nato aircraft on Pakistani troops that allegedly killed as many as 28 soldiers and looks set to further poison relations between the US and Pakistan was an act of self-defence, a senior western official has claimed.

According to the Kabul-based official, a joint US-Afghan force operating in the mountainous Afghan frontier province of Kunar was the first to come under attack in the early hours of Saturday morning, forcing them to return fire.

The high death toll from an incident between two supposed allies suggests Nato helicopters and jets strafed Pakistani positions with heavy weapons.

The deadliest friendly fire incident since the start of the decade-long war also prompted Pakistan to ban Nato supply trucks from crossing into Afghanistan and to issue an order demanding the US quit the remote Shamsi airbase, from which the US has operated some unmanned drone aircraft.

A spokesman for Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said it was “highly likely” that aircraft which had been called into the area to provide “close air support” to troops on the ground was responsible for causing casualties among the Pakistani soldiers.

For their part, a statement by the Pakistani military claimed that it was they who were attacked first, forcing them to respond to Nato’s “aggression with all available weapons”.

According to Pakistani officials the 40 or so soldiers stationed at the outposts were asleep at the time of the attack. Government officials said the two border posts that were attacked had recently been established to try to stop insurgents who use bases in Afghanistan to attack Pakistan from crossing the border and launching attacks.

Afghan intelligence say the US-Afghan force was conducting operations against suspected Taliban training camps in the area.

The vagueness of the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is one potential, and relatively innocent, explanation for the incident. Drawn up by the British Raj in 1893, there is little agreement on where the so-called Durand Line actually falls, meaning troops from either side of the border can wander into the neighbouring country without realising it. One senior military official said that, in places, rival maps have discrepancies of “multiples of kilometres — sometimes as much as five kilometres”.

Much of the fighting in Afghanistan is conducted by guerrillas based a short distance inside Pakistan. Nato forces are not allowed to cross the border and militants sometimes fire artillery and rockets across the line from locations close to Pakistani army posts.

And yet both sides have worked hard to try and minimise any confusion. The attack happened just a day after John Allen, the US commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, met with Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, the Pakistani army chief, to discuss enhanced co-operation on the border.

But a more troubling explanation would be that insurgents in the area were operating under the nose of Pakistani security forces. Many Afghan officials believe Pakistan helps the Taliban with cross-border operations.

Edrees Momand of the Afghan Border Police said that a US-Afghan force in the area near the Pakistani outposts detained several militants on Saturday morning.

“I am not aware of the casualties on the other side of the border but those we have detained aren’t Afghan Taliban,” he said, implying they may have been Pakistani or other foreign national Taliban operating in Afghanistan….

Afghanistan: Senior jihadist commander responsible for NATO deaths given amnesty, now head of Kandahar's Islamic Affairs Department
What could go wrong? Taliban members paid £100 a month to stop fighting, but get to keep guns
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  1. says

    you know if nato left the pak and afganistan.. let muslims kill each other… the pak is self imploding and no more aid to these countries! if hindsight were not so far.. the West would realize that these scumbags need to be left alone to kill each other as much as it pains me to know women and children are being brutalized by islam!

  2. says

    The wild card with Pak is their Nukes. USA must neutralize Pak’s nuclear capability in all forms before disengagement from the area is safe.

  3. says

    Sydney man guilty of honour killingBy court reporter Jamelle Wells, ABC Updated November 28, 2011, 11:27 am tweet0EmailPrint
    A Sydney student has been found guilty of murdering his mother’s lover in an honour killing.Â

    Andrew Iskandar, 21, stood trial in the New South Wales Supreme Court for the murder of Malaysian consulate driver Mohd Shah Saemin

    The driver was bashed to death in February 2010 at Leichhardt, in Sydney’s inner west.

    The crown case was that it was an “honour killing” because the 43-year-old victim was having an affair with Iskandar’s mother, Nita Iskandar.

    The prosecutor said the affair had become a talking point in Sydney’s Indonesian community

    The jury heard that Andrew Iskandar was armed with a hammer during the attack.

    Iskandar told the jury that he used the hammer in self-defence after Mr Saemin attacked him and his father.

    He was found guilty of murder but acquitted of another charge of soliciting to murder a witness.

    The jury is yet to reach a decision on a charge against Nita Iskandar, who is accused of being an accessory after the fact for helping her son flee to Singapore after the killing.

    A decision is expected today

    Her son will be sentenced in February.

    Gee, I wander what religionhe is??
    – Thanks again for comming to Melbourne Robert; it was fantastic to ” break bread” with you.

  4. says

    Journalists need to learn to get their reports from independent military analysts instead of official sources:

    November 26, 2011: On the Afghan border, NATO aircraft and helicopter gunships attacked two Pakistani border posts, killing 28 Pakistani troops and border guards. Exactly what happened is still unclear, but the Pakistani military media machine promptly declared it to be a NATO attack on Pakistan. This forced the Pakistani government to close the two main supply routes carrying NATO supplies to Afghanistan and order the U.S. to leave a Pakistani air base. All this has happened before, and eventually the supply routes are reopened. That’s because moving NATO supplies is a big business in Pakistan, and much of that business is at risk. That is because of delays and thefts, which have caused most of that traffic to move to Central Asia. Eventually, nearly all the supplies will come in from the north. The more Pakistan messes with that traffic, the faster they will lose what trucking business they still have from NATO. Pakistan has ordered the U.S. out of those airbases in the past, but nothing ever happens. Nevertheless, the U.S. has been moving UAV operations to Afghanistan anyway. The Pakistanis cannot be trusted, especially along the border. Since the border guards and paramilitary police in the tribal territory are recruited from the tribes, the Taliban can also recruit, bribe or coerce these troops to fire on NATO and Afghan forces. Border patrol bases are often used for this, and NATO air strikes and artillery will be used to support the NATO and Afghan ground troops that are under attack. Since Pakistan officially denies that their paramilitary forces often work for the Taliban, they declare that the casualties from NATO forces defending themselves are “unprovoked attacks on Pakistan.” That fiction works for a while in the Pakistani media, but most Pakistanis know better.

  5. says

    The fiction that Islam is a most perfect religion and that Jews and Christians are dhimmis who need to be exterminated from the Muslim world had taken root in most Islamic countries and particularly Pakistan, which has no Jews left.

    Jew-hatred, Christian animosity and a disdain and violence toward the ‘infidels’ is half of Koranic verses, which had taken hold on most Muslims countries that were previously part of colonies of Great Britain. Those are dysfunctional countries that cannot feed their people and elites who rule and steal resources from their people. Also, having multiple wives increases populations in those countries, which cannot feed all those new babies. Then they send them to madrases where they memorize Koran instead of learning skills to enable them to have a good life.

    As long as elites in Muslim countries use religion to channel hatred toward “others’ and blame the West for their abysmal failures, there will be no peace. Pakistan had become a basket case, which had been propped by the Western aid and their military lives of it. Instead of building schools to educate their people, they stash the money in Swiss and French Banks and teach their people to hate the West.

  6. says

    If NATO leaves that hellhole, the Pakies will throttle everything that is built in Afganstan in a heartbeat. They will make Afganistan a biggest hellhole that you can imagine. In the pretense of helping them, they will milk us till the cows come home. No future President will advocate sending troops to that hellhole unless there is another catastrophe, similar to that 9/11. It is less riskier to stay there to tame the Pakies than leave the unfinished business that will haunt us for generations to come.

  7. says

    Wasn’t Andrew supposed to kill his mommy to wash the family of such humiliation? He killed the lover instead. The humiliation still lingers, I contend!