The Inter Services Public Relations, the public affairs branch of the Pakistani military, rejected ISAF’s report on the cross-border incident in Mohmand tribal agency that resulted in the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers. From the ISPR website:
Pak Army does not agree with the findings of the US/NATO inquiry as being reported in the media. The inquiry report is short on facts. Detailed response will be given as and when the formal report is received.
Pakistan refused to cooperate with ISAF to conduct a joint investigation into the Mohmand incident.
Major General Athar Abbas, the chief of the ISPR, granted an interview with The Associated Press today. He contradicted the ISAF investigation’s finding that Pakistani troops fired first, and said they fired only in retaliation. [For details on ISAF investigation, see LWJ report, Pakistani fire, mutual errors led to Mohmand troop deaths: ISAF inquiry].
Pakistani army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas rejected the report’s claim that Pakistani troops fired at American and Afghan forces first, triggering the incident. He told The Associated Press in an interview Friday that Pakistani forces retaliated only after coalition helicopters “started engagement.” He also denied that Pakistan failed to notify NATO of the location of the two border posts that were attacked.
Abbas expressed surprise and frustration that the U.S. refused to apologize for the deaths of the soldiers, something many Pakistanis have demanded. He rejected an American offer to pay compensation to the victims’ families, saying the army has its own welfare system.
Meanwhile, CENTCOM Commander General James Mattis canceled his planned briefing to the Pakistani military that was to provide the details of the report.
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