In a diplomatic victory for Pakistan, Pakistan has got Secretary of state Hillary Clinton apologize on behalf of the US for the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a cross-border Nato air raid Ending a bitter seven month row between the two nations.
Hillary issued a statement on Tuesday in which she expressed America's "deepest regrets" and said, "sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military" , in the attack that brought relations US-Pakistan to all time low.
Last November, a NATO Air raid had killed nearly 24 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan had demanded apology from the US, however US denied apologizing. As a result, Pakistan has closed the vital supply routes of NATO trucks to Afghanistan in its territory. Pakistan has been arguably a key ally of US in the fight against terrorism. Although NATO doubts the role of Pakistan in fight against terrorism, but acknowledges Pakistan's strategic location that allow the NATO supply and troops to reach bunkers and storage units in Afghanistan through the sea easily.
Following the apology, Pakistan has agreed to reopen the NATO supply routes to Afghanistan, bringiing much relief to the NATO bases in Afghanistan. US has also agreed to gift USD 2.5 billion as financial assistance to the cash strapped Pakistan during the current fiscal. The amount is actually the reimbursement from the US Coalition Support Fund (CSF) for Pakistan's expenses on the war on terror.
Without the US aid, Pakistan's economy was badly hit. Pakistani government has been facing pressure because of depleting foreign exchange reserves which required an immediate bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
On July 5th Pakistani officials have confirmed that first NATO truck has crossed the border to reach Afghanistan after a gap of 7 month.
US recently was in the warning mode against Pakistan, Defense secretary Leon Panetta pressured Pakistan to do more to root out the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani terrorist network from its territory, saying that US officials are "reaching the limits of our patience."
He also defended the use of drones to attack key targets inside Pakistani soil, and asked India for close cooperation and partnership. Panetta also offered India the proposal to become a full time ally of America, which rang bell in Pakistan as a move to surround it from all the sides, however India denied considering its Non Alignment Policy and its neighbourhood giant China with which India has been trying to appease the relations.
Pakistan has got trapped in its wrongly played diplomacy games, at once Pakistan used both America and Islamic militants for its strategic causes, but today both of them seem to be against Pakistan. China, which is considered as its all weathered friend is also not giving any appreciable amount help to Pakistan in the fight against terrorism as India objects presence of China in the Kashmir and nearby regions. Hence, China cannot openly start its help operations there.
The move has also caught castigation from the analysts of both the sides, although it is considered good for the peaceful existence of both Pakistan and Afghanistan, since earlier it felt like America is turning its relation with Pakistan just how its relations with Iran is at the moment.
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