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'US mulling apologising to Pak for deaths of 24 soldiers in NATO attack to ease strained ties'

Washington, Tue, 07 Feb 2012 ANI

Washington, Feb 7 (ANI): Almost after three months, the Obama administration is reportedly considering apologising to Pakistan for the deaths of its 24 soldiers in the NATO attack on a border post in November last year.


A senior American military commander is expected to travel to Pakistan this month in what Obama administration officials say is the first step towards thawing a strategic relationship that has been in effect frozen for over two months, The New York Times reports.


"We've felt an apology would be helpful in creating some space," an American official who has been briefed on the State Department's view, has said.


General James N. Mattis, the head of the military's Central Command, will reportedly meet Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to discuss the investigations of an exchange of fire at the Afghan border that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, as well as new border coordination procedures to prevent a recurrence of the episode.


General Mattis's visit, the first by a high-ranking American official since the cross-border confrontation in November, was supposed to begin on Thursday, but was postponed by at least a week pending what is expected to be a spirited debate in the Pakistani Parliament over a new security policy toward the United States.


Pakistani and American officials are quite optimistic that both events will help stabilizing the strained relationship between both countries.


Pakistani officials say they will probably reopen NATO supply lines to Afghanistan running through their territory, which have been closed for more than two months now. (ANI)


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