No repetition of attack on Pakistani soldiers: US

The US would ensure there is no repetition of incidents like the Nov 26 attack, US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter has said.

Islamabad: The US would ensure there is no repetition of incidents like the November 26 attack that left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead, US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter has said.

Munter told a Pakistan TV channel that there is a mechanism in place on both sides of the border to prevent such things. But the fact that it did happen indicates failure of the mechanism, he said.

The November 26 NATO airstrikes on two Pakistan Army checkposts left two dozen soldiers dead and triggered outrage in the country. Islamabad cut off its NATO supply through the country and boycotted an international conference that discussed the future of Afghanistan.

Based on the findings of an inquiry, Munter said, the US would take steps to ensure such incidents do not recur in future, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

Both Pakistan and the US will have to remain engaged and talk to each other, he said, adding that Washington wants restoration of the bilateral relationship to its previous level.

This year has seen deterioration in the US-Pakistan ties. In February, Raymond Davis, an undercover CIA agent, was arrested in Lahore for shooting two Pakistani nationals. Then Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed May 2 by US commandos who swooped on his Abbottabad hideout without informing the Pakistani military.

Munter reiterated that the NATO attack was not deliberate.

He added that the loss of lives of Pakistani soldiers was as unfortunate and regrettable as the loss of American soldiers.

"This was a terrible tragedy. Something that happened that was not planned and what we need to do is that we need to get to the bottom of it," he was quoted as saying.

"We want to make sure that your people have the answers they deserve through an investigation that we are to carry out in the next couple of weeks," he added.

"Of course the results would be shared with Pakistan because US is fighting against militancy. That is why the US called for Pakistan to take part in the Bonn Conference where the long term future of Afghanistan is to be decided," Munter said.


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