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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

World

Apology for drones: US-Pak talks run into rough weather
PTI
Islamabad, May 02, 2012
First Published: 23:38 IST(2/5/2012)
Last Updated: 23:39 IST(2/5/2012)

Pakistan’s efforts to secure an apology from the US for a cross-border Nato air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last year has run into rough weather, with the issue emerging as the biggest hurdle in resetting ties between the two sides.

A resolution passed by a joint sitting of the two houses of Pakistan’s parliament on April 12 had urged the government to seek an “unconditional apology” from the US for the attack.

US special envoy Marc Grossman’s talks with his Pakistani interlocutors during a visit to Islamabad last week broke down on the issue of the apology. The issue has now become a “major hurdle” in the negotiations for re-engagement between Pakistan and the US. Western diplomats put the blame squarely on Islamabad, the Dawn newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The diplomats said “serious miscalculations” were made by Pakistan in the run-up to the start of formal talks with the US.

The first round of Pakistan-US talks since the air strike in November, held last week during Grossman’s visit, ended “without any progress because of the American refusal to apologise and their refusal to discuss the demand by the parliament that Washington cease the drone attacks” in Pakistan’s tribal belt, the Dawn reported.


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