Pak refuses to agree with US report on NATO strike

Islamabad: The Pakistan Army today said it did not agree with the findings of a US inquiry into a cross-border NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month. "The Pakistan Army does not agree with the findings of the US/NATO inquiry as is being reported in the media," chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said in brief statement. "The inquiry report is short on facts. A detailed reponse will be given as and when the formal report is received," he said.

Earlier, Brig Gen Stephen Clark, an Air Force special operations officer who led the investigation into the incident, said an "overarching lack of trust" between the US and Pakistan and several key communication errors led to the NATO air strike near the Afghan border.

He said US forces used the wrong maps, were unaware of Pakistani border post locations and mistakenly provided the wrong location for the troops.

Clark described a confusing series of gaffes rooted in the fact that US and Pakistan do not trust each other enough to provide details about their locations and military operations along the border.

The Pentagon did not apologise for the action as Pakistan has demanded.

Pakistan had responded angrily to the attack by closing all NATO supply routes and forcing the US to vacate Shamsi airbase, reportedly used by CIA-operated drones. Pakistan also boycotted the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan to protest the air strike.