President Obama and Prime Minister Gilani—AP Photo
President Obama and Prime Minister Gilani—AP Photo

WASHINGTON: The United States and Pakistan are working on the language of a possible US apology to end their stalemate and reopen Nato’s supply routes to Afghanistan, diplomatic sources told Dawn.

Pakistan wants the United States to apologise over a Nov 26 air raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at the Salala military post. The United States had initially agreed to apologise but changed its mind after aides warned President Barack Obama the move could harm his re-election campaign.

Pakistan closed Nato’s supply routes to Afghanistan after the raid and is refusing to reopen them unless the Americans apologise.

The sources who spoke to Dawn said they “now see a stronger desire on both sides” to resolve this dispute.

They said the two sides had already exchanged several drafts of the expected apology and might soon agree “on a draft that meets everybody’s requirements”.

The sources rejected recent reports in the US media that Pakistan was refusing to reopen the routes because it wanted higher tariffs from the United States for using its highways.

A team of US experts has been based in Islamabad for the past six weeks, trying to end the dispute and reopen the supply routes. On Friday, another senior US official, Assistant Secretary of Defence Peter Levoy, also joined the team.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington, Sherry Rehman, urged US officials to avoid making remarks that could further deteriorate an already tense relationship between the two countries. Commenting on Secretary Panetta’s recent statement that the United States was losing patience with Pakistan, Ambassador Rehman said: “This kind of public messaging from a senior member of the US administration is taken very seriously in Pakistan, and reduces the space for narrowing our bilateral differences at a critical time in the negotiations.”

Such statements, she noted, “adds an unhelpful twist to the process and leaves little oxygen for those of us seeking to break a stalemate”.

More From This Section

Govt inaction against militants criticised

PML-N senator, Mohammad Hamza questions logic of continuing talks with TTP amid violence.

Training launch of ballistic missile

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan has successfully carried out training launch of a surface-to-surface ballistic missile, Hatf ...

Ministry wants TV channel’s licence cancelled

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Defence sought on Tuesday revocation of the licence of a private news channel and...

Constable dies, 40 hurt in blast

CHARSADDA: A policeman died and 14 personnel and 26 civilians suffered injuries in a bomb attack on a police van in...


Comments are closed.

Comments (54)

Haider
June 10, 2012 1:10 pm
Mr. Bhutani, you must have also objected to many articles published in NY Times referring to 'reliable sources', 'undisclosed location', 'asking not to be named', and 'classified information'.
M. Asghar
June 9, 2012 5:00 pm
Pakistan's position is rational and solid and the only way out is a legal apology by US coupled with a just compensation for the victims.
Ali
June 9, 2012 4:48 pm
What will the US or Mr. Panetta do if they run out of patience????
Sam
June 9, 2012 3:56 pm
Why Apology?Another new apology to restore unwanted drone attacks.Another apology to start killing more Pakistani citizens.
Maaq
June 9, 2012 3:49 pm
I see weakness of Pakistani media in confronting the propaganda by US media, which is pinning down Pakistan with tons of false accusations. It also show a true picture of western media
Cyrus Howell
June 9, 2012 3:37 pm
"The United States had initially agreed to apologize but changed its mind after aides warned President Barack Obama the move could harm his re-election campaign." This is probably right, but sometimes a president is better off not listening to his aides. At least it is understood about elections. Pakistan might have a tougher time dealing with Mitt Romney, but that's another story. Obama was a professional negotiator for twenty-five years. He knows what is doable and what is not. The idea that apologizing would hurt him in the election polls tells us more about how the American people feel toward Pakistan.
Ikram Khan
June 9, 2012 2:51 pm
It should be unconditional apology.........nothing else,
ali abbas
June 9, 2012 2:32 pm
there is a simple way out. US doesn't need to apologize. Nato can apologize and everyone can move on
Agha Ata
June 9, 2012 1:57 pm
Are you sure there is going to be another article on this topic or even the mention of this article in the future?
saif
June 10, 2012 5:19 pm
We dont want your money nor your trucks on Pakistani soil. Not even a billion dollars per truck. Go beg the russians and iranians
Abdullah KN
June 9, 2012 1:37 pm
Hopefully issue is resolved in the best interest of both countries. Enough of those long winded statements. Pakistan can't afford isolation from US & West , yet a clear line should be drawn so that Salala liket tragedy does not happen again. Pakistan should also be forthcoming in revealing the colateral damage caused by US drones so the world can understand the sufferings of the people living in tribal area.
nayyar51
June 9, 2012 1:19 pm
Whatever, are the words of US apology, if it's not coming from the mouth of President Barack Obama, the apology will be meaningless and soulless.
ZESHAN
June 11, 2012 5:08 am
media is one of the corrupt and culprit in this..
Zamarud Khan
June 11, 2012 4:42 am
I agree with your assessment!!!
Dr V. C. Bhutani
June 11, 2012 3:39 am
We take those reports with a pinch of salt and go on to the next item. If that's what you want us to do with the present report, we are quite content. I asked for references. None have been forthcoming. V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 11 Jun 2012, 0909 IST
ali
June 11, 2012 3:30 am
routes should be opened only if they agree to end the war peacefully,,,morever pakistan should not allow weapons on routes...
K. A. Muhammad
June 11, 2012 2:46 am
kams, I shall much appreciate if some competent authority in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan having jurisdiction could refer or cite such a precedent in the political history of Nations. Did Nato Commander sit with Karzai of Afghanistan to work on draft of apology over Afghan deaths in recent air strike by Nato Force. Or is it that, President of USA, Barak Obama does not know how to apologies (in English and or Urdu) and that Mr. Yusuf Raza Gilani, the Prime Minister of Islamic Republic will tutor Obama on the subject! Jokers in circus, on pack of playing cards and now in politics, is not that funny!
Akhtar Baloch
June 10, 2012 11:40 pm
We need to end this agreement with the United States, we were better off when under sanctions. At least we were self sufficient. The US is not a trust worthy ally, American people may be good but the government and particularly the CIA is horrendous.
T.M. Reddy
June 10, 2012 9:39 pm
Will it make significant difference after apology? Even diplomacy improves, both will be suspicious of each other regarding terrorism or terror sanctuaries.
Haider
June 10, 2012 11:20 am
The matter of significant consideration for you is that if Pakistan is a slave, then why is it not obeying the current orders of US i.e. opening the supply routes. For your information, the current upsurge in the frustration of USA is only because Pakistan has never done what USA wanted it to do.
Haider
June 10, 2012 11:08 am
I do not see any harm in re-opening the supply lines after a soft apology by USA. Pakistan has given enough tough time to USA by blocking the lines for more than 6 months now. In any event, the supply lines would actually be used now by US to get of Afghanistan in a year's time.
Jawad
June 16, 2012 12:04 am
Dear Sandeep, I just watched the video which you call secret :) tell me how any intelligence agency in the world work without double cross policies?? There are more video like this on internet but not everything is trust-able we know our ISI we know Our army, you didn't saw those video in which Indian Army support Extremist Hindus for Mass killing Muslims in India I saw a picture in which A group of Hindus Burning Quran and christian also burn our Quran tell me did you ever see any Muslim burnt your book or any other Holy Book FYI Still Taliban have stronghold in Afghanistan 65% people in Afghanistan support Taliban, Media is misguiding you..
sandeep
June 10, 2012 3:44 pm
Secret Pakistan : Documentary by BBC Part 1 (Double Cross) .please watch this before making a conclusion on anything http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSinK-dVrig
shahid
June 10, 2012 3:34 pm
i hope the US should not apologize if that can keep Pakistan to keep the supply roots closed. And i hope even if the US apologize, Pakistan should immediately find another excuse to keep the supply roots closed.
shahid
June 10, 2012 3:30 pm
i hope the US should not apologize if that can keep Pakistan to keep the supply roots closed. And i hope even if the US apologize, Pakistan should immediately find another excuse to keep the supply roots closed. US has to admit that the key to Afghan prob and respectable pullout (brave defeat) frm Afghanistan is Pakistan, not India or anyone else.
sandeep
June 10, 2012 1:53 pm
Dear Haider, There may not be a draft in progess.This may be an effort by the pakistan govt to regain its popularity among its own people.
sandeep
June 10, 2012 1:48 pm
the reason is pakistan economy has become too much dependent on the US money ,that it cant sustain without that.
sandeep
June 10, 2012 1:37 pm
US is already bombing inside pakistan in tribal areas .what more do u want?
sandeep
June 10, 2012 1:29 pm
The fact is pakistan hasreceived millions of dollors from US for last so many years for allowing its own people and territory according to US interests.What is the use of closing the supply routes now.Please remember that if US is attacking the tribal areas of pakistan,it is attacking pakistan itself.which country will allow something like this to happen?
sara khan
June 9, 2012 5:43 pm
Sir, what kind of apology Pakistan just wants dollars, settle the amount and just carry on with the atrocities...
noaman
June 9, 2012 5:44 pm
pakistan should afraid of these panetta remarks because through these tactics they want to pressurize pakistan they only have an axe to grind. pakistan should not open Supply route.
A M Shiekh
June 10, 2012 6:32 pm
National interest comes first over our personal ego. We may not like our enemy, but sometime we have to shake hands for the larger interest of the country.
Abbas
June 9, 2012 7:50 pm
Sounds like Embassy in Washington keeping up appearances. After the recent statements by US officials regarding Pakistan I don't see any apology on the horizon.
sohail
June 9, 2012 8:26 pm
I believe it is pointless, even apology is not enough US need to pay not only to victim of drones but immediately vacate Afghanistan for good of this region.
Khan
June 9, 2012 8:31 pm
This is really an interesting question, but we don't know either our civilian and military leadership ask this question from each other or not. Because it seems they have decided to test the limit of their patience.
Dr V. C. Bhutani
June 10, 2012 12:08 pm
I have read this report a second time today and 27 comments, mostly from Pakistani comment writers. I have seen nothing in the world press (I read 8 newspapers every day) to indicate that US and Pakistani officials are looking at drafts of a possible apology by the US. What is the source of your information? Quoting “diplomatic sources” is not an adequate basis. Are you just trying to pander to the baser instincts of your people? V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 10 Jun 2012, 1737 IST
Umer
June 9, 2012 8:43 pm
"...Pakistan can't afford isolation from US & West ..." It's this kind of thinking that got us in this mess in the first place!!
MarkH
June 9, 2012 8:48 pm
False? Like what?
Abdul
June 9, 2012 8:51 pm
More killings goes on and on and what good an apology will do. shame on Pakistan leadership.
TdUk
June 9, 2012 10:51 pm
Yes no supply route no aids and move towards becoming Somalia or Afghanistan
Mamoon
June 10, 2012 7:33 pm
Mahsud . Every one is talking abt US patience, no one consider that how much patience we had shown from a last decade, either its in shape of drones attack or ray mond devis incidence or abbotabad incidence and last bt not the least the sad incidence of salala post....time has come that we shud reconsider our ties with US.
NASAH (USA)
June 10, 2012 12:48 am
You can wait for the apology till hell freezes. My tax dollars are NOT paying extortion money - from $250 to $5000 per truck - either.
Sekar
June 10, 2012 12:57 am
You do not want to know. Refer Hillary Clintons threat to Pakistan regarding any terrorist attack in the US which can be traced back to Pakistan. Unfortunately if history of terrorism is a guide sooner or later the USA and Pakistan would be in direct confrontation militarily. Gone will be the fig leaf about Pakistan being an ally.
Menon
June 10, 2012 10:57 am
Mine either
Nisar Ahmad
June 10, 2012 10:56 am
Pakistan shouldn't be confused...We shall keep closed the nato supply route and keep open supply routes to Haqqani network and . that would make Pakistan an honourabe and sovereign country,, our great Quaid e Azam envisioned for us.
Shah Deeldar
June 10, 2012 2:39 am
Finally, the camel's back is broken. Pakistan can't afford to loose US as a partner. In long run, that would have been too expensive. Pakistan found itself in between a rock and hard place.
NORI
June 10, 2012 3:40 am
Is it really called an apology if it is secured by arm-twisting (read, closing supply routes) ? Is it called an apology which if issued after multiple meetings just because Pakistan insists on it ? I think the apology would come just in time before elections and rulers can showcase it as a 'victory over America'. Big drama prolonged enough to divert the attention of the Pakistanis from domestic problems. Nice to see that all the audience are mesmerized by the screenplay.
ifee
June 10, 2012 4:33 am
sure you know very well about the fiscal deficit from where they get the remaining amount of deficit no source else NATO
junaid shaw
June 10, 2012 4:42 am
pakistan should not be afraid of us because they r arrogant and will always be arrogant as it is their nature.
Zia
June 10, 2012 5:05 am
I see Panetta's visit to India and the obscene remarks as an effort to sabotage the normalization of Pak India Relations. The arms industry strikes again.
Mike
June 10, 2012 5:46 am
Apology on repeated, insistent demand?
sandeep
June 10, 2012 5:47 am
Regarding the relationship between US and Pakistan,one must understand that it is a master-- slave relationship.where is friendship in this?US will say and Pak will obey.
vacciph
June 11, 2012 9:45 am
I believe it isn't a matter on dollars as i see in few comments, this is diplomacy at its very best. Govt wants to score some points on this issue as opening the NATO supplies would badly dent their election campaign as we have already seen some parties issuing strick statements on the issue, so they are basically buying time for them. Till now Pak govt has shown some gutts that matters can now be discussed in parliment and be resolved through diplomacy contrary to our past record where US demands were met on just a phone call. This is another perspective of looking at the issue. Peace.
ss verma
June 11, 2012 5:56 am
Pakistan must insist on sincere apology ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Cartoons
E-PAPER
Front Page