Report: Kayani’s intervention halted NATO strikes according to military; Pakistan Army rejects US investigation report on NATO attack ; Pakistan desires to strengthen ties with Myanmar; Pakistan Military academy hit by rockets
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  • (January 23-29)

    According to a 24-page document released by ISPR, the military’s public affairs wing, a direct intervention by Chief of the Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and warning of an enhanced response had finally brought to a halt NATO’s air strikes on Volcano and Boudak posts in Mohmand agency on November 26, 2011. Gen Kayani talked to ODRP (Office of the Defence Representative Pakistan) chief L.G. Keen at the US Embassy and warned that if the fire did not stop immediately he would order an enhanced level of response, beyond the one which was already being given by the Pakistani military until that time in the shape of small arms and mortar fire. The intervention finally brought the fire to a halt. The document gives Pakistan’s perspective on a US investigation report on the incident which brought the already-strained relations between Pakistan and the United States to a new low. 1

    Meanwhile, according to reports, Pakistan’s military rejected US findings on a November 26 NATO cross-border air attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and plunged relations to a low point. “Pakistan does not agree with several portions and findings of the investigation report, as these are factually not correct,” the military said in a statement. The US report released on Dec. 22 found both American and Pakistani forces were to blame for the border incident, inflaming already strained ties. “Affixing partial responsibility of the incident on Pakistan is therefore unjustified and unacceptable,” said the statement. The Pakistan army had earlier in December 2011 rejected key findings from the US investigation into air strikes and had said the report was unlikely to repair the severely damaged relationship between the two countries. 2

    In another development, according to reports, President Asif Ali Zardari has called for enhancing trade between Pakistan and Myanmar and a ‘preferential tariff arrangement’ leading to a comprehensive free trade agreement. Talking to Myanmar President U. Thein Sein after his arrival in Naypyidaw on January 24, he called for setting up a joint ministerial commission to promote economic and trade cooperation between the two countries and collaboration in the oil and gas sector. The president offered to send the minister for petroleum and natural resources to Myanmar for exploring prospects of meaningful cooperation. Pakistan and Myanmar have modest trade relations and the volume of trade was $24 million in 2009-10. 3

    In other developments, according to reports, the Pakistani Military Academy in Abbottabad has been hit by nine rockets, fired by unknown assailants. The academy is situated near the compound where Osama was killed. Officials have said that no one was injured. 4