As reiterated by US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, high-ranking US officials have expressed their apologies over the Salala check post incident which occurred in November 2011 and claimed the lives of 24 Pakistani soldiers. Speaking with Deutsche Welle, Munter said that American officials realized and accepted that it was a tragic incident.
Pakistan's sacrifices well understood
Recognizing Pakistan's role in the "war on terror," Munter added that there has been increasing understanding of the sacrifices that Pakistan has made.
"We understand that tens of thousands of Pakistanis have died in this war. We understand you have given a lot and we hope that's understood by the Pakistani people and the leadership that we appreciate the work that you have done."
According to the US official, both Pakistan and the US would work together to avoid similar incidents in future. Speaking about the developments since the incident, the ambassador said, "We have been engaged state to state and society to society," adding, "We have worked military to military at a more tactical level. We have met the tripartite groups that include Pakistan, Afghanistan and Americans and we are trying to make sure that we come up with mechanisms to prevent cross border problems like that from happening again."
According to the American official, both Pakistan and the US have continued to work together. Munter said that the intelligence agencies from both countries understood that they had a great deal in common and that the same people who threatened Pakistan also threatened America.
US efforts for regional progress
Munter also said that in recognition of Pakistan's sacrifices in the "war on terror," the US has offered assistance in identifying and solving the problems of the people of the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas.
"We want to deal across the border with everyone and we just want to make sure that there is proper balance, that we deal with people in their areas of competence and we help them in their areas of competence."
Munter also mentioned economic cooperation and said that the US hoped to see the resumption of NATO supplies through Pakistan. He said a number of investors in the US were keen on investing in Pakistan, but were unable to do so due to the prevailing conditions. He added that the US wanted to assist Pakistan and Afghanistan to recover from their financial crises.
When asked about talks with the Taliban, he said there was no telling how long the process would take. He added that the US wanted peace in Afghanistan and that the US hoped to assist in the formation of a democratic government based on the wishers of the Afghan people.
Author: Fareedullah Khan / Aasim Saleem
Editor: Sarah Berning