WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Sherry Rehman says statements like those recently given by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in India, reduce the space for narrowing bilateral differences between the US and Pakistan.
Defence Secretary Leon Panetta had said on Wednesday that the US would continue to attack al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal regions of FATA despite complaints from Islamabad that the drone strikes violate its sovereignty, and create a sense of anti-Americanism.
“We have made it very clear that we are going to continue to defend ourselves,” Secretary of Defence Panetta had said in India.
It was some of the strongest language used by a US official to describe the strained ties between Washington and Islamabad.
In a statement issued from the Embassy of Pakistan, Ambassador Rehman said, “this kind of public messaging from a senior member of the US Administration is taken very seriously in Pakistan, and reduces the space for narrowing our bilateral differences at a critical time in the negotiations.”
“It adds an unhelpful twist to the process and leaves little oxygen for those of us seeking to break a stalemate,” she lamented.
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