Sunday, December 4, 2011

US - no official response to killing Pakistani soldiers

Is there something a bit odd about killing people and then calling their friends and family on the phone to express condolences?

Amplify’d from

(CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke Saturday with Pakistan's prime minister, the latest bid to address strained relations between the two nations exactly one week after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed inadvertently in an NATO airstrike.

After the attack -- which took place in western Pakistan, near the Afghan border

NATO later called the subsequent mass casualties caused by the strike "tragic (and) unintended." Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta have called the incident a "tragedy" and offered condolences, though Washington has not issued a formal apology.

No such apology came in Saturday's phone conversation, according to a statement from the U.S. State Department.

Clinton "once again expressed condolences to the families of the soldiers and to the Pakistani people for the tragic and unintended loss of life," the statement said.

"She reiterated America's respect for Pakistan's sovereignty and commitment to working together in pursuit of shared objectives on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect."

During an exclusive interview Monday with CNN, Gilani said the country wants to maintain its relationship with the United States as long as there is mutual respect and respect for Pakistani sovereignty.

Asked directly if Pakistan is getting that respect, the prime minister said: "At the moment (it is) not."

"If I can't protect the sovereignty of my country, how can we say that this is mutual respect and mutual interest?" he asked rhetorically.


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