While rejecting NATOs claim that Pakistan forces initiated fire, Director General, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Athar Abbas said on Monday NATO forces should present proof if they were claiming that firing was started from Pakistani side, he said while talking to a private television channel.
He said, No fire was opened from our side and we responded only after the martyrdom of our soldiers. Athar Abbas said that any NATO soldier was not injured as result of firing from Pakistani side. He said that NATO could not make the excuse that they were chasing terrorists across the border because the area where the attack took place had been cleared. Athar Abbas said that NATO had been provided maps of all Pakistani check posts as reference and they had also been informed about their positions.
The DG ISPR also said that the attack took place within 200-300 meters within Pakistans borders and added that the area had been cleared of militants. He said that the investigations were still going on about the two posts namely Volcano and Golden made beyond Salala.
When attack was initiated, the soldiers deployed on these posts immediately informed the senior officers who took up the issue with regional headquarter at Peshawar and GHQ Rawalpindi.
They informed that the posts were being attacked. We received information of the martyrdom of 24 soldiers after mortar shelling was stopped from across the border, he added. He said the attack continued upto two hours in which another 13 soldiers sustained injuries.
Responding to a question he said that he would not speculate regarding apology of NATO. Our leadership is reviewing it, Whether it was an unprovoked attack, he added. He said that the limits of our diplomatic cooperation would also be discussed.
Responding to a query, DG, ISPR said that only NATO chief could answer question about ceasefire as he was duly informed about the attack.
Regarding additional arrangements on border posts, he said that Mohmand Areas was cleared after a long struggle in which more than 70 soldiers embraced martyrdom and more than 250 sustained injuries.
Ruling out presence of terrorists in the area, he said a large number of posts were made to enhance control in that area. He said that NATO was also informed about presence of these posts and IASF officials were informed whenever a new post was created so that they could retain map references of these posts.
Responding about Shamsi airbase, the DG, ISPR said that he would not speculate on this issue. We should have to wait till the decision of our political leadership on this issue and results of the investigations, he added. According to DG, ISPR, such incidents have happened in the past which have killed 72 soldiers and injured more than 250 troops in three years.