Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has urged US President Barack Obama to show ‘some courage’ and apologise to Pakistan for last year’s Nato airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at Salala, and bring US-Pakistan relations back on track.
“Pakistan deserves an apology,” he said while addressing a gathering of PPP workers in New York Monday night, according to a press release from the chairman’s media office.
Bilawal 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.
“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 said.
“I would like the American public to consider their reaction if American troops were killed in such an attack on their border with Mexico,” Bilawal said.
“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,” he added.
Referring to other incidents that led to the present tensions, he 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 … the future of the bilateral relationship could well determine the success of moderation against extremism in South and Central Asia,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2012.