December 04, 2011

US again expresses condolences over NATO attacks, but Pakistan firm on boycott

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Saturday, again offering US condolences over the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers in NATO air strikes last week, the State Department said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Clinton “once again expressed condolences to the families of the soldiers and to the Pakistani people for the tragic and unintended loss of life in Mohmand last weekend,” the State Department said in a brief statement.
She said the “attack was not intentional” and asked Pakistan to “wait for the outcome of the investigation” into the incident.

Clinton also raised with Gilani the issue of Pakistan’s participation in the Bonn conference on Monday. But a government official told the AFP news agency that “the cabinet has decided not to attend the Bonn meeting.”
A US-led NATO airstrike killed 24 Pakistani troops on the northwestern border with Afghanistan on Nov 25. Enraged by the incident, Pakistan shut down NATO’s supply line into Afghanistan and boycotted an international conference in Bonn on Afghanistan.
Pakistan refused to join in the investigation. Pakistani and the US officials have offered different accounts of how the friendly fire happened.
Pakistanis have since staged anti-US rallies protesting in major cities in Pakistan

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