Pakistan reopens supply routes, Clinton apologizes

Pakistan will re-open the supply lines that the U.S. and its allies use to supply troops in neighboring Afghanistan after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. is sorry for the deaths of Pakistani soldiers mistakenly killed by a NATO airstrike last November.

In a call with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Clinton offered "our sincere condolences" to the families of Pakistani soldiers who lost their lives. "Foreign Minister Khar and I acknowledged the mistakes that resulted in the loss of Pakistani military lives. We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military," Clinton said in a statement on Tuesday. "We are committed to working closely with Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent this from ever happening again."

Islamabad had continued to demand a full U.S. apology for the strike, closing down the supply lines after the errant airstrike along the border with Afghanistan. Pakistan's border closing has cost the U.S. heavily, forcing NATO and the Pentagon to use more expensive land-based routes into Afghanistan from the north. After meetings in Pakistan that included Afghan war commander John Allen and Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, news reports indicated the two countries were getting closer to an agreement to reopen the border-crossings after talks to reopen the ground supply routes faltered in recent months.

Reopening the routes, Clinton said, "is a tangible demonstration of Pakistan’s support for a secure, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan and our shared objectives in the region. This will also help the United States and ISAF conduct the planned drawdown at a much lower cost. This is critically important to the men and women who are fighting terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan."

Allen, in a statement, welcomed the decision, referencing several visits to Pakistan in recent weeks to meet with Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff. “These continuing discussions underscore the importance of working together on the challenges facing our two countries in the days, months, and years to come." Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was also pleased. "We remain committed to improving our partnership with Pakistan and to working closely together as our two nations confront common security challenges in the region," he said in a statement.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.