NEW YORK: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has urged US President Barack Obama to show “some courage” and apologise to Pakistan for the Nato airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at Salala, and bring US-Pakistan relations back on track, reported Times of India.
“Pakistan deserves an apology,” he said, noting that his current week-long visit to the United states was taking place at a crucial point in relations between the two countries.
The PPP chairman also called for an end to US drone attacks inside Pakistani territory, saying they were illegal and violated international law, and also the US’ war powers act.
“The continuing unilateral US drone attacks on Pakistani soil are a constant irritant to Pakistani public opinion – both as a clear violation of our sovereignty and the toll of collateral damage to innocent victims,” he told a large gathering of PPP workers and supporters at a dinner hosted by President of PPP-USA, Shafqat Tanweer, on Monday night.
The meeting took place at Tanweer’s residence in Long Island, that Benazir Bhutto had visited several times during her trips to the United States.
Moments before the chairman’s arrival, two rival groups in the party patched up their differences and agreed to work united for the cause of the country.
Elaborating his views on the Salala attack, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said, “I would like the American public to consider what their reaction would have been if American troops were killed in such an attack on their border with Mexico. I urge President Obama to show some courage. I understand he is running for re-election but if he is the same man who inspired the world with his message of hope and change, the future of Nato mission in Afghanistan should be more important than poll numbers”
Referring to other incidents that led to the present tensions, the PPP chairman said, “The unilateral action in Abbottabad made many in Pakistan question whether the United States actually considered Pakistan a military ally in our common war on terrorism and extremism.”
“The Raymond Davis fiasco made many in our country question the role and authority of CIA activities in Pakistan,” he added.
“This is truly a moment of tension and re-examination. We are at crossroads. The future of the bilateral relationship could well determine the success of moderation against extremism in South and Central Asia.”