Wednesday, March 28, 2012

U.S. apology for NATO strike not good enough, Pakistan

Pakistan's foreign minister says an apology by the U.S. government for the NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers would not satisfy the Pakistani government, and the attack demanded a reassessment of Islamabad's partnership with the United States. "The incident was grave enough for an apology not to be good enough," said Foreign Minster Hina Rabbani Khar in a wide-ranging interview with CNN at her home in Islamabad.

"This did require a complete relook at the terms of engagement with the United States of America."

In November, U.S.-Pakistan relations plunged to an all-time low when NATO fighter jets attacked a Pakistani checkpoint near the Afghan border, killing 24 Pakistani soldiers. The U.S. government expressed regret over the incident but not issue a direct apology. The NATO airstrike was the latest in a string of incidents that increased tensions between Islamabad and Washington, including the killing of two Pakistani men by a CIA contractor and the U.S. decision to raid Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan without notifying Pakistani authorities.

Washington and Kabul view Pakistan as a crucial player in the Afghan peace talks because of the perception that Islamabad maintains ties to the leadership of the Afghan Taliban.

US top commanders begin Pakistan visit, will discuss re-opening NATO supply routes

“It is the first high level meeting after Salala incident and will focus on the inquiry into the incident and improvements in Border Coordination Procedures,” the army said.
General Mattis said earlier this month that he will discuss re-opening NATO supply routes with Pakistani officials.
Testifying at a hearing of the US Senate Armed Services Committee this month, General Mattis had said that the U.S. did need ground lines through Pakistan, and that he would be meeting Pakistani officials on his trip.
Talking about Pakistan’s parliamentary review and US-Pakistan relations, General Mattis said that he remained optimistic that they would make progress in this regard.


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