After months of internal wrangling over whether to issue a formal apology, the U.S. told Pakistan on Tuesday it was “sorry” for a deadly cross-border air strike last year, prompting Pakistan to re-open the vital ground supply lines.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that she had given Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar her “deepest regrets;” her “sincere condolences;” and most crucially, said, “We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military.”
Pakistani leaders had been holding out for an apology after months of high-level negotiations to re-open the ground supply routes that carry materiel from the port of Karachi to American and allied troops in Afghanistan. Although American leaders had expressed “regret” and “condolences” before, as well as reportedly offering to pay Pakistan more for the right to use the supply lines, they had never actually apologized.
Clinton’s statement Tuesday did not mention previous negotiations, and it said Pakistan would not exact a premium to resume using the ground supply routes.
Clinton also said that Pakistan would not permit “lethal equipment” to travel from Karachi into Afghanistan, except for equipment bound for the Afghan National Security Forces. That provision appears to permit the U.S. to move its own lethal equipment, such as weapons and armored vehicles the other way, from Afghanistan to the seaport, for its planned drawdown.
That provision doesn’t matter anyway since the US is moving its forces out of the region. They probably already have enough lethal equipment stockpiled in Afghanistan anyway to last for years.
My guess is that they will either sell most of the lethal weaponry to the Afghans or just leave it there. www.militaryringexpress.com