Pak adamant on U.S. apology on Salala incident: Sherry Rehman
Washington, May 19 (ANI): Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S. Sherry Rehman has refuted the impression that Pakistan has deviated from its position of demanding an apology from the U.S. on the Salala firing incident, adding that Pakistan would continue pressing for a formal apology.
"We have not stepped back from any of our demands. The Foreign Office has issued a very clear statement that we will continue to press for apology for the 24 martyred soldiers in every meeting and diplomatic engagement with U.S. We have neither compromised on it, neither have done anything to indicate that only the U.S. is furthering its gains," The News quoted Rehman, as saying.
She said Pakistan's participation in the forthcoming NATO summit in Chicago would ensure that it is not in international isolation. Pakistan, she said, has always had a role in the region and the summit presented an opportunity to redefine it.
"This unconditional invitation to Pakistan is a very positive development. We don't want interference in Afghanistan, but want to support peaceful security transition, which can also bring stability in Pakistan," she said.
Pakistan, she recalled, had decided against attending the Bonn Conference because it was not long after the Salala incident.
"However, this NATO summit is happening at a time when our discussions with Afghanistan are ongoing too and core group involving Pakistan, Afghanistan and U.S. just recently met in Islamabad. Therefore, it's a continuation of that where we can play our constructive role for Afghanistan because it is mostly about them. If we are already involved at a smaller level, we ought to remain engaged at such higher forum too," she said.
The Ambassador said that Pakistan would have been seen as playing a spoiler's role, in case it decided to stay away from the NATO summit.
"We are improving relations with India, so these are very important strategic shifts. We have to adopt a good neighbour policy with Afghanistan too. Relationship between President Karzai and President Zardari is much improved as compared to the previous regime, so we must take these diplomatic and political initiative," she added said. (ANI)
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