The White House said US President Barack Obama will not issue a formal apology or condolences on the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a Nato attack on the Pak-Afghan border, said a report by The New York Times.
However, the State Department officials feel that there is a need for such an apology to mend the straining relationship between the two countries, according to the report.
The report stated that US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, through a video conference, told White House officials that the anti-American sentiment has reached its peak in Pakistan stressing the need for a formal apology by the US. But the White House argued that condolences offered by senior US officials and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were enough till the US completes its investigations into the matter, the report said.
“The US government has offered its deepest condolences for the loss of life, from the White House and from Secretary Clinton and Secretary Panetta,” said Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council, referring to Defense Secretary Leon E Panetta, “and we are conducting an investigation into the incident. We cannot offer additional comment on the circumstances of the incident until we have the results.”
Pakistan has strongly responded to the attack on the Pakistani checkposts by cutting off Nato supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan and refusing to attend the Bonn conference in Germany. The Pakistani government has also demanded for the Shamsi airbase – being used for the drone strikes – to be shut down.
The Pakistan Army said that the attack was unprovoked and was a ‘deliberate act of action’, while in a recent statement, top US military officer General Martin Dempsey denied the allegations.
Nato helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military border posts in northwest Pakistan on Saturday in the worst incident of its kind since Islamabad allied itself with Washington in 2001 in the war on militancy.