Salala air raid: US noncommittal on formal apology

Published: May 16, 2012

The DoD spokesperson, reiterated, that terrorism is a common concern for the US and Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

WASHINGTON: 

The United States is still noncommittal on a Pakistani demand for a formal apology on the killing of two dozen Pakistani troops in last year’s air raid on border posts in Mohmand Agency.

Acting Assistant Defence Secretary George Little said on Tuesday that Washington expressed deep regret and offered condolences on the killing of Pakistani troops. He was asked at a Pentagon news briefing if the US would offer a formal apology as demanded by Islamabad.

Little, however, hoped that Islamabad would soon lift the blockade of supply routes for thousands of US-led Nato troops fighting a deadly Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

“Counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan is ongoing,” he said and added that they were working closely with Pakistan to renew the relationship.

Pentagon spokesperson Captain John Kirby, who was also present at the briefing, said that the US was committed to an ongoing dialogue on a full range of security issues. “We believe we share common interests with Pakistan. The relationship is getting to where it needs to be.” He said that terrorism was a common concern for US and Pakistan. “The same terrorists that come after us, go after the Pakistanis,” he said, saying that terrorists were responsible for the deaths of thousands of Pakistanis.

(Read: Resetting Pakistan-US engagement)

Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2012.

Reader Comments (9)

  • Imran Con
    May 16, 2012 - 6:50AM

    Give it up already. If you’ve got some special response for never receiving an apology, it’s time. It was time a long time ago.
    After this amount of time, even if you use the word “demand” it automatically turns into “beg.”

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  • May 16, 2012 - 8:00AM

    If US’s own report says they were fired upon first why would they apologize?

    The Pakistani case doesn’t make any sense. Why would US attack Pakistani soldiers without provocation, knowing that Pakistan could close down a vital supply route? US is not a crazy suicide bomber who would blow himself up and others based on some weird notion of honour.

    Considering the Pakistani track record, World tends to believe the US’s version, so do I.

    I am just glad that the notion,”US needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs US” is well and truly dispelled from every right wingers mind in Pakistan.

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  • Naaz
    May 16, 2012 - 8:05AM

    Why you want an apology from Nato for killing 24 and dont care for 40000 dead in Pakistan.Pak army is capable enough to show teeth to Nato but not capable of controlling Taliban
    Why when security forces are deployed somewhere in Pakistan the situation jumps from good to extreme worse.When you will start thinking?.If you find it hard to know all this dont worry someone else has done it for you
    Pls visit
    http://mullahmilitarymilitantsandjudiciary.blogspot.com/

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  • Basit
    May 16, 2012 - 8:28AM

    The US will never issue an apology as arrogance is it’s way of doing business. Pakistanis, other than our sold out leaders, are in no way waiting for a US apology.

    Instead we should open up the NATO supply route at a very high tax burden. Since we are entrapped by the US already, why not make some money on it?

    The US is still losing the war in Afghanistan at the end of the day.

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  • May 16, 2012 - 9:00AM

    since things decided under the table forget about ‘brutal killings’ by uncle sam, what apology we are friends – every thing is fair in love and war…!

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  • Ahmer Ali
    May 16, 2012 - 9:49AM

    “Acting Assistant Defence Secretary George Little said on Tuesday that Washington expressed deep regret and offered condolences on the killing of Pakistani troops. He was asked at a Pentagon news briefing if the US would offer a formal apology as demanded by Islamabad.
    Little, however, hoped that Islamabad would soon lift the blockade of supply routes for thousands of US-led Nato troops fighting a deadly Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan”.
    This is your favorite thing US’ leaders that you kill the innocent people intentionally on the name of fake terrorism by considering them terrorists and then show merciful and sympathetic hypocritical attitude before the world and never accept the responsibility.And as far as your this statement is concerned in which you said that “thousands of US-led NATO troops are fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan” then why don’t you leave Afghanistan as soon as possible on priority basis before 2014?
    And despite having thousands of troops and most modern war technologies and equipments till now why couldn’t you defeat handful Taliban?

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  • Hajira Amir
    May 16, 2012 - 9:55AM

    How many times must the Americans apologize? Different US representatives have apologized no less than 6 times so far. In fact according to the sources, even Obama may have apologized in the immediate aftermath of the incident but it was the Pakistanis who told him to hold off.
    Right now, the apology appears to be an attempt to humiliate the US. Any attempt at sincerity by Pakistan has been lost with the passage a time.
    The Salala incident was played by Pakistan to the hilt by showing an elaborate funeral live on TV and whipping up people in a frenzy. How many times in the recent past has Pakistan done this for its soldiers who have died otherwise? How about the 2 soldiers who were beheaded last week. Salala was a gambit that the masters of Pakistan took and it has backfired on them.
    Also don’t forget that as early as last year, the New York Times was reporting that the Taliban are attacking NATO troops from the cover of Pakistani border outposts.

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  • Jan
    May 16, 2012 - 12:13PM

    @Hajira Amir:

    It was 12 soldiers that where beheads, two of them had their heads hung in the public square. Those were Taliban militants. No outrage there. Perfectly acceptable behavior. Wonder what the response would have been if NATO had done the same. The really funny thing is Pakistani soldiers fired at Nato helicopters first. Nato has an extremely careful policy and high resolution capability and a command and control structure for engagement. It is especially careful along the borders. The Pakistani soldiers getting killed were the result of inadequate training and discipline on their own part. It’s all a big joke and it came to a conclusion as one.

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  • j. von hettlingen
    May 16, 2012 - 7:35PM

    Both parties – Pakistan and the U.S. – should stop this game of chicken. The longer it takes, the less time the U.S. has to finish the endgame in Afghanistan. Unfortunately time is not on the U.S. side and Pakistan knows it.

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