The South Asia Channel

Daily brief: Pakistan rejects U.S. account of deadly airstrike

Event Notice: Please join the New America Foundation’s National Security Studies Program TODAY from 12:15 – 1:45 pm as we commemorate the life of Richard Holbrooke, one of the most important American statesmen of the last half-century (NAF).  Reports and acrimony Pakistan on Monday released its report into the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in November ...

Event Notice: Please join the New America Foundation’s National Security Studies Program TODAY from 12:15 – 1:45 pm as we commemorate the life of Richard Holbrooke, one of the most important American statesmen of the last half-century (NAF). 

Reports and acrimony

Pakistan on Monday released its report into the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in November by American aircraft in Mohmand agency, roundly rejecting American claims that both sides shared responsibility for the incident and blaming the deaths on U.S. failures to coordinate with Pakistani forces (NYT, Post, AP, CNN, ABC, AFP, LAT, ET). The report also concluded that the incident was, "deliberate, at some level," and said that that bombardment did not end until army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani intervened with the U.S. military (Post, Dawn). A Pentagon spokesman stood by Washington’s portrayal of events Monday (AFP).  

Former Pakistani ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani filed a request Monday with the judicial commission investigating the "Memogate" affair asking that Mansoor Ijaz’s right to testify in the case be stripped, after Ijaz refused to travel to Pakistan, citing security concerns (Dawn, ET, DT, McClatchy, CNN, ET, Dawn). Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rehman Malik appeared before the judicial commission to explain statements he made about the case, while intelligence head Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha testified before the parliamentary commission conducting its own investigation into the incident (Dawn, ET). And Karin Brulliard writes about the coup in Pakistan that everyone expected, but has (so far) not happened (Post). 

Dawn reported Monday that Pasha met with former military dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf in Dubai, and warned him not to come back to Pakistan (Dawn, ET). The report emerged the same day Pakistan’s Senate unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution demanding that Musharraf be arrested and tried upon his return to the country (CNN, ET, Dawn, AFP). 

Human Rights Watch issued a sharply critical report on the security situation in Pakistan Monday, as a major gas pipeline in Sindh was blown up by unknown assailants, and Dawn looked at the continued fear of militants among those displaced from Khyber agency by fighting (ET, Dawn, Dawn). And police believe a Kenyan aid worker who went missing Monday in Sindh has been kidnapped, while elsewhere police arrested four people allegedly connected with the kidnapping of two European aid workers in Punjab last week (AP, AFP, ET).

Signs of betrayal

NATO said Monday that there was no evidence of "systemic infiltration" of Afghanistan’s security forces by the Taliban, after the Taliban claimed to have recruited the Afghan soldier who killed four French soldiers last week (Reuters, AFP). And Reuters reports on the looming difficulties in American and NATO efforts to secure Afghanistan’s east (Reuters).

Finally, the AFP reports on the tremendous mental strain placed on Afghans by years of bloodshed in their country (AFP). According to the Afghan government, fully 50 percent of Afghans experience symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

The wandering scrolls

Scholars are picking apart a cache of medieval Jewish scrolls believed to be from northern Afghanistan that have slowly come into the public eye in the last two years (Reuters). The documents, which were likely smuggled out of Afghanistan secretly and are currently in London, are believe to have belonged to Jewish merchants who worked along the Silk Road, the ancient trading route that traverses Central Asia. 

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Andrew Lebovich is a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and a doctoral candidate in African history at Columbia University. He is currently based in Senegal and has conducted field research in Niger and Mali.

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