Talks with US collapse over apology: Report

American newspaper says Marc Grossman’s visit does little to patch up damaged relationship.

Afp April 29, 2012


High-level talks on ending a diplomatic deadlock between the United States and Pakistan have ended in failure over Pakistan’s demands for an apology from the United States, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

The newspaper said US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman, left Islamabad on Friday night with no agreement. The departure followed two days of discussions aimed at patching up the damage caused by a US air strike last November at the Salala checkpost that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, the report said. The United States refuses to apologise for the strike.

The incident damaged the precarious US-Pakistani partnership and provoked outrage in Islamabad, which has retaliated by cutting off Nato supply routes to Afghanistan.

The United States and Pakistan disagree about the precise sequence of events in the deadliest single cross-border attack of the 10-year war in Afghanistan. Pakistan denies shooting first, and has accused the Americans of an intentional attack on its troops.

According to the report, the administration of President Barack Obama had been seriously debating whether to say ‘I’m sorry’ to Pakistan’s satisfaction -- until April 15, when multiple simultaneous attacks struck Kabul and other Afghan cities.

“What changed was the 15th of April,” the paper quotes an unnamed senior administration official as saying.

US military and intelligence officials concluded that the attacks were directed by the Haqqani network, a group working from a base in North Waziristan, the report said.

That swung the raging debate on whether Obama or another senior US official should go beyond the expression of regret that the administration had already given, and apologize, the paper said.

Without the apology, Pakistani officials say they cannot reopen the Nato supply routes into Afghanistan that have been closed since November, the report said.

The United States, in turn, is withholding from Pakistan between $1.18 billion and $3 billion of promised military aid. The continuing deadlock does not bode well for Pakistan’s attendance at a Nato meeting in Chicago in three weeks, assuming it is even invited, said The Times.

US administration officials acknowledged on Friday that the stalemate would not be resolved quickly, the paper noted.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2012.


nisa | 9 years ago | Reply

It has been a very bad marriage and there has to be a divorce and a fresh start for Pakistan. US should stop bullying and Pakistan should accept the severance.. both sides should respect each other's dignity. US knows that War options are not viable in the present financial climate. The sooner this conflict ends the better it will be for this region perhaps people can start mending the fences. US should put its own house in order and tackle the immense poverty that threatens its people. After having squandered trillions it is not easy for any one to accept failure but there has to be a realization that the war was a gross mistake. Ideologies cannot be defeated by bombs and bloodshed. The war has exacerbated the divide and alienation to such an extent that it will take centuries to bridge the differences. Movements of people across the Pak/Afghan border has been free for thousands of years. US has not been able to grasp the history of this region and finally the facts have hit home.. US and KSA SHOULD FOR EVERYONE'S SAKE PUT A STOP TO THE PARANOIA AND LET THIS REGION MOVE TOWARDS PEACE. It will take ages to pick up the pieces and repair the damage but it will be a start.

BruteForce | 9 years ago | Reply

@Jamset Ram Sing:

South Asia is in a better place than 10 years ago. India forms 80% of South Asia and is doing exceedingly well.

How are Pak-Afg border problems caused by USA? I dont understand. Can you give me an instance?

When Pakistan shelter dangerous elements fleeing from Afghanistan, the shifting of the war theatre to Pakistan is not surprising. I do not understand how US shifted the war to Pakistan, it is Pakistan's own doing.

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