Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Hina Rabbani Khar call for US apology over NATO strike
In quite an unexpected move, Chairman Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar have called for a US apology over cross border attack at Salala check-post that killed 24 Pakistani troops.
Clarifying that Pakistan doesn’t want permanent blockade of NATO supplies, the foreign minister said Pakistan still seeks apology from Washington.
In an exclusive interview to a private TV channel here, Khar said Pakistan’s sovereignty should be respected and the public reaction comes out when sovereignty of the country is violated.
The minister informed that Pakistan’s parliament had urged improved and enhanced ties with the international community but on mutual bases. The parliament thoroughly reviewed Pakistan’s relations with the US and ISAF (International Security Assistance Forces).
Khar said that Pakistan is still under pressure regarding restoration of land route for allied forces. She observed, “We want to tell the world that Pakistan is also a coalition partner to ensure peace in Afghanistan which is also in the better interest of the region”.
She categorically rejected the criticism over President Asif Ali Zardari’s participation in NATO summit, saying those criticizing the Pakistan’s attendance want to drag the country into backwardness.
Hina Rabbani Khar continued that resumption of supply line for foreign forces was not the issue only between Islamabad and Washington but it is a matter of over 50 countries. If Pakistan is kept at distance from the international community, its stance could not be well understood, she added.
In the meantime, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has made similar demand from Washington. Addressing a ceremony, he voiced concerns against the US drone attacks, saying the strikes were a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and independence.
Bilawal stated that questions were being raised on Pak-US friendship following the unilateral operation in Abbottabad, adding that ties between the two countries had been passing through a critical phase.
He observed, "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 & change, the future of the NATO mission in Afghanistan should be more important than poll numbers. Pakistan deserves an apology".
The PPP chairman said that Pakistan was determined to eliminate terrorism and his mother Benazir Bhutto struggled for the uplift of woman and strengthened democracy.