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Pakistani anger justified: US General

- November 29, 2011 - Updated 723 PKT - From Web Edition

LONDON: US-Pakistani relations are at one of their worst points in memory after the NATO strike that killed 24 Pakistani troops, but can recover, Washington's top military officer said on Monday.


General Martin Dempsey said Pakistani anger was justified given the loss of life. But he declined to offer an apology, saying during a trip to London that he did not know enough yet about the weekend incident and that there was a US military investigation.


"They have reason to be furious that they have 24 soldiers that are dead, and that the ordinance that killed them was the ordinance of a partner," Dempsey, chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Britain's ITV News.


"I would certainly like to enlist their patience in helping us figure out what happened."


Pakistan's military said the strike was unprovoked but a Western official and an Afghan security official who both requested anonymity have said NATO troops were responding to fire from the Pakistani side of the Afghan border.


Asked about US-Pakistani relations, Dempsey said: "It certainly does look like it's on about as rocky a road as it has been in my memory. And my memory with Pakistan goes back some 20 years or so."


Questioned whether the situation was irretrievable, he said: "No. I don't think so."


Dempsey branded the relationship with Pakistan "troubled" when he addressed a forum in London.




Pakistan shut NATO supply routes into Afghanistan in retaliation for the killings.


Dempsey said the United States could cope with the cut-off by channelling supplies through alternative routes.


"But I'd like to believe that we could, over time, with Pakistan's approval, restore those lines of communication," he said.


Pakistan has also said it had ordered the United States to vacate a drone base in the country.


Dempsey, who declined to acknowledge the use of drones at the base, said the move would be a "serious act in terms of our relationship".


"They want us to close the base in Shamsi, the purpose of which I leave to your imagination. There are other options for stationing aircraft and other resources around the region," Dempsey said.


Asked whether it was a serious blow, he said: "It's a serious blow in the sense that the Pakistani government felt that they needed to deny us the use of a base that we've been using for many years.


"And so it's serious in that regard. It's not debilitating militarily."


Dempsey said ties at senior levels between the two nations' militaries were still strong at the "person-to-person" level. (Reuters)

Reader Comments
I think there is no surprise in US denial for an apology cause they want to chew this issue as much as they can, only to remind us to do more otherwise they can do anything. Being a Pakistani and being a Pukhtoon, I feel it will be a great shame for us to expect an apology; instead it needs a well calculated response precise to numbers. They know us as double crossers and it must be proved to them.

Sadiq Jan
United Kingdom
we have been back stabbed by a psuedo ally........its time 4 us now 2 realize they n their war against terrorism is not in our best interests n its a hoax...........!!!!!!

It is an eye opener for Pakistan and muslim world. While commenting on the episode one American said and I quote, "these are only 28 Pakistanis killed, Nato should actually kill 28 million muslims and oblitrate the muslim faith from the globe". This is the general mind set of the West about the muslims. We need to wake up

The biggest mistake of the US: it goes on believing that it is dealing with a military and a civilian government sympathetic to its objectives. The reality is different. Now, the US is dealing directly with the people of Pakistan who have always exercised a huge influence over policy decisions (even during dictatorships). Transactional arrangements don't work with people. With Pakistani people into the equation, the relations can never be mended.

I'm not saying that Pak in Ind become a very good friend.. but atleast come close to understnad the main threat. China, America, and other are using both of them..... this is high time, wake up or we'll again come under new and worst leadership

United Kingdom
I strongly condemn, deplore and protest against aggressive and massive attack on our check post resulting in martyr of 24 jawans. The government must raise their voice at any forum i.e. national and international level and warn the US government to stop the this act instead of recording of protest. unfortunately, our leaders are self fish and never focus the problems being faced nations. i would like to pay tribute military officers and jawans who rendered their lives for country.

Pakistan's all actions will be justified in times to come USA knows how smart we act when friends become foe time is not far off

syed baqar ahsan
Pakistan should take strong and firm stand and try to come out from US alliance forthwith

Javeria Butt
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