NEW YORK: Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has urged President Barack Obama to show “some courage” and apologise to Pakistan for the Nato airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at Salala and bring US-Pakistan relations back on track.
“Pakistan deserves an apology,” he said, noting that his current week long visit to the United States was taking place at a crucial point in the relations between the two countries.
“I urge President Obama to show some courage. I understand he is running for reelection but if he is the same man who inspired the world with his message of hope and change the future of Nato mission in Afghanistan should be more important than poll numbers,” Bilawal told a gathering of PPP workers in New York.
The PPP chairman also called for an end to drone attacks inside Pakistani territory, terming them illegal and in violation of international laws.
“The continuing unilateral US drone attacks on Pakistani soil was a constant irritant to Pakistani public opinion – both as a clear violation of our sovereignty and the toll of collateral damage to innocent victims,” he said.
“I would like the American public to consider what their reaction would have been if American troops had been killed in such an attack on their border with Mexico.”
Referring to the US raid that killed former al Qaeda leader Osama bin laden in Abbottabad, the PPP Chairman said, “The unilateral action in Abbottabad made many in Pakistan question whether the United States actually considered Pakistan a military ally in our common war on terrorism and extremism.”
“The Raymond Davis fiasco made many in our country question the role and authority of CIA activities in Pakistan,” he added.
Bilawal added: “This is truly a moment of tension and re-examination. We are at a crossroads. The future of the bilateral relationship could well determine the success of moderation against extremism in South and Central Asia.”