NATO strike: US keen to recompense Pak

The US is willing to offer solatia payments to the families of Pakistani soldiers killed in a cross-border NATO strike last month.

Last Updated: Dec 23, 2011, 15:58 PM IST

Washington: In keeping with its practice in
Afghanistan, the US is willing to offer solatia payments to
the families of Pakistani soldiers killed in a cross-border
NATO strike last month as it tries to resolve the crisis
generated in its aftermath, a Pentagon spokesman said on Friday.

The airstrike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and hit the
fragile US-Pakistan ties hard, following which Pakistan shut
down its NATO supply routes to Afghanistan in protest.

"In keeping with our normal practices in Afghanistan, the
United States is willing to offer solatia payments as a sign
of our regret for the loss of life," Pentagon Press Secretary
George Little told news agency.

"This is not necessarily a legal form of compensation,
but it is a sign of regret for the loss of life," Little said
in response to a question, adding that an offer has to be made
and accepted in accordance with the normal practice for
payments be made to each of the 24 families.

He said the US had accepted responsibility for the
"mistakes" and admitted "shortcomings" after a thorough
investigation.

"We have expressed our deepest regret for loss of life
and extended our condolences," Little said when asked about
the Pakistani demand that US should issue a formal apology.
"We have expressed our regret," he said.

Earlier at a news conference, the Pentagon Press
Secretary said the findings of the report would soon be shared
with the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan, both of whom
have already been briefed about it.

PTI