As a middle way to mend ties, the United States is set to say “sorry” instead of “we apologise” to partially accept Islamabad’s demand regarding the November killing of 26 Pakistani soldiers by the Nato forces.
“The US is ready to officially say sorry to Pakistan. It is not ready to use the term ‘we apologise’. Islamabad is likely to accept the sorry note and hug Washington again,” a senior government official said.
Relations between Pakistan and the US have never normalised since the killing of Al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011.
The November attack on Pakistani military checkposts killing 26 soldiers further worsened the ties and Pakistan blocked the Nato supplies to Afghanistan creating a big problem for the US-led forces in Afghanistan.
Overt and covert meetings since then have not been able to bridge the gap between the two uneasy allies. Islamabad has been demanding of the US to apologise for the killing of the Pakistani soldiers which the US denied.
“Now the US wants a middle way out and they are ready to come up with an official ‘sorry’ to settle the dispute,” the official said. According to sources, Washington was also considering undertaking the rehabilitation of road infrastructure in order to open up suspended supply routes, and various options were under consideration for Congressional approval in this regard.
Authorities in Islamabad have estimated that the heavy flow of Nato/Isaf supplies over the past decade have caused damage worth $ 1.6 billion to Pakistan’s road infrastructure. There was initially a huge gap between the estimation worked out by the Pakistani side and the US, as Islamabad forwarded its
proposal to impose a fee of $ 5,500 per container while Washington kick-started its offer with the meagre suggestion of $ 223 to $ 500 per container.
“Now we have also suggested a middle way to find a solution to this stalemate, but the ultimate decision will be taken by political leadership of both countries,” the official added.