Wednesday, May 18, 2011

US denies apology over drone attacks

When Senator John Kerry was holding a series of meetings with the top Pakistani authorities the media was fed with a story about a “formal apology” tendered by Washington over Monday’s drone strike in North Waziristan in breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

It served the interest of Washington instead of Pakistan and its Parliament. Foreign Office spokesman Ms Tehmina Janjua said she has no knowledge of any apology tendered by Washington to Pakistan. While talking to The News she agreed that in case of a formal apology the most relevant institution is the Foreign Office, which did not receive any such apology or regrets from the United States. 

The ISPR when approached referred the question to the Foreign Office. The ISPR said that such apologies are exchanged between the governments for which the FO would be in a position to say anything.

Senator Kerry told Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and other officials in Islamabad on Monday that the United States need not apologies to Pakistan for the raid but that it was in both countries’ best interest to mend the frayed relationship, a report on the CNN web site said.

The US embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez when approached to ascertain if the United States has formally tendered an apology to Pakistan over Monday’s drone strikes in North Waziristan, instead of confirming or denying it said in a written reply, “We have seen reports that quote an unnamed source in Islamabad. We have no additional information on this.” 

Asked if such drone attacks would not be carried out in future unless permitted by the government of Pakistan, Alberto again responded vaguely: “We cannot comment on particular tactics, technology, or operations in the fight against violent extremist groups. No nation has suffered from terrorism as much as Pakistan. We are committed to working with and supporting the people and government of Pakistan as they defend their democracy from violent extremism.”

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