NATO attack: US officer calls Pak firing unusually accurate

Washington: The US on Friday said Pakistan had not refused, just postponed, accepting the report of the investigation on the cross-border NATO strike that blamed the deadly November 26 incident largely on misunderstandings.

Such "a characterisation" is not right, State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters during an off-camera briefing here when asked about news reports that General James Mattis, Commander of the US Central Command, was ready to brief Pakistan Army Chief, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, on the issue but Pakistan did not accept it.

"My understanding is that simply the timing was not right. They decided to postpone it. As you all know there is some internal political dynamics right now in Pakistan. So they felt they better postpone till then," Toner said.

"That has not been cancelled. That`s my understanding," Toner said. The State Department official said the new date for such a briefing has not been determined yet and it is going to take some time for Pakistan to get the report.

"We have seen some initial comments from the government officials," Toner said, adding that Ambassador Cameron Munter continued with his meetings with top Pakistan government officials, including with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Interior Minister Rahman Malik.

The US Government is going to continue to talk with Pakistani officials on this issue, he noted.

When asked to comment on reports and speculation of a military coup in Pakistan, Toner said the US stood behind the democratic process in Pakistan.

"We support the democratic process of Pakistan. We support the constitution and rule of law… We believe that this is for the Pakistani people to resolve within their own political process," Toner said.

Responding to a question, Toner said the US-Pakistani relationship has faced many challenges this year.

"At each juncture, we have tried to address those challenges. We have committed ourselves in working with Pakistan and we will continue to do that because we need to work with Pakistan on the issues we face, the type of challenges we face," he said.

"It`s hard to say what is going to happen next year. All I would like to say on behalf of the US that we desire closer and more productive relationship with Pakistan ? materially and politically".