US envoy told Pak deaths unacceptable
By Shaukat Piracha
ISLAMABAD: President Pervez Musharraf reprimanded US envoy Nancy Powell on Thursday over US forces’ killing of two Pakistani border troops, calling it “unacceptable” and demanding an immediate inquiry and punishment, a Foreign Ministry statement said.
The two soldiers were accidentally shot dead on Monday when US troops patrolling the Afghan side of the border called in airpower to pursue gunmen who had fired on them. President Musharraf, a prized ally of the United States in its 20-month war on terror, issued the angry complaint to Ms Powell when she paid a visit to the presidential palace for Pakistan’s Independence Day. He conveyed “grave concern” over the deaths on the border between the tribal district of North Waziristan and Afghan province of Paktika, the statement said.
“The president stated that the incident was unacceptable and all possible measures (should) be taken to prevent and pre-empt recurrence of any such incident in the future,” the statement said. “The president said that an immediate inquiry (should) be conducted and action initiated against those responsible for the incident.”
Ms Powell conveyed the US government’s regrets and said an inquiry was already under way, according to the foreign ministry.
Sources told Daily Times that Pakistan has used ‘all diplomatic’ channels to convey its concerns against the incident. “The US deputy head of mission in Islamabad was summoned two days ago and a protest was lodged with him while Pakistan’s embassy in Washington also lodged a protest with the US State Department,” they said.