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Archive for December, 2011

US asks for Pakistan army secret info

December 28, 2011 Leave a comment

US military officials have urged Pakistan to regularly
disclose classified information regarding Pakistani military facilities and installations along the border with Afghanistan.

Commander of the US Central Command General James Mattis made the plea on Monday following a November 26 incident in which NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military border posts in northwest Pakistan and killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

“The strongest take-away from this incident is the fundamental fact that we must improve border coordination,” Mattis claimed in a statement.

He also called for establishing a shared database between the two countries, saying that an increase in information could help NATO forces in Pakistan avert similar incidents.

In addition, Mattis ordered the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to seek ways to improve its relations with Islamabad.

Air Force Brigadier General Stephen Clark, who led an investigation into last month’s incident, said on Thursday that US forces bore some responsibility for the deaths as they relied on the wrong maps, were unaware of Pakistani border post locations and mistakenly provided the wrong location for the troops.

The investigation, however, claimed that the US forces “acted in self-defense and with appropriate force after being fired upon,” and that there was “no intentional effort to target persons or places known to be part of the Pakistani military or to deliberately provide inaccurate location information to Pakistani officials.”

The Pakistani military has dismissed the investigation and said it does not “agree with the findings of the US/NATO inquiry as [it is] being reported in media.”

Pakistani officials accuse US-led forces of deliberately carrying out the air strikes from inside Afghanistan.

Following the November incident, US President Barack Obama offered condolences for those killed in the attack but failed to issue an official apology.

Pakistan decided to halt the supply convoys destined for US-led foreign soldiers in Afghanistan in retaliation for the deadly airstrikes.

This is while foreign forces in Afghanistan rely heavily on the Pakistani supply route into the landlocked country.

US-led planes and helicopters have increasingly violated the Pakistani airspace over the past months.

The US claims its air raids target militants who cross the Pakistani border into Afghanistan. But locals say civilians are the main victims of the unauthorized attacks.

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US removes Mullah Omar from terror list

December 28, 2011 Leave a comment

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reportedly removed the name of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar from the list of “most wanted terrorists.”

The report came following Washington’s secret meetings with the Taliban after one decade of war, Pakistani media reported.

US officials have held several meetings with representatives of the Afghan Taliban leader, headed by Tayyib Agha, in Germany and Qatar over the past months.

During the meetings, the US and Taliban negotiators reached a deal to transfer five Taliban militants, who are under custody in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, to Qatar. The removal of Mullah Omar’s name from the terror list comes after the prisoner deal.

The founder of the Taliban, Mullah Omar, has been in hiding since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Washington removed Mullah Omar’s name despite allegations that the Taliban and Osama bin Laden was behind the September, 11 attacks in the US.

The United States invaded Afghanistan 10 years ago under the pretext of eradicating the Taliban, but its failure has forced Washington to turn to negotiation with militants.

The US government has planned new round of talks with the Taliban in early 2012.

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