Washington:The US understands the concerns
that Pakistan has, but it also has plenty of concerns with
regard to Islamabad, a top American official said on Friday.
"We have been in constant and intense dialogue with our
Pakistani counterparts. We understand the concern. Frankly,
there's plenty of concern on the American side as well," State
Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.
Nuland appeared to be upset that Pakistan has not joined
the CENTCOM investigation into the November 26 incident in
which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in a NATO air strike.
"When this tragic incident happened you know that every
senior American called every senior Pakistani, from the
President to the Secretary on down, to express our condolences
and to pledge a full, transparent investigation," she said.
"So we are doing that investigation now. We invited the
Pakistanis to participate with u in the investigation. And
frankly, that would have been the best way for them to have
eyes on and to ensure the credibility of what we were up to.
Government of Pakistan declined to participate," she said.
"We obviously remain open to that kind of participation.
But we also are very firmly committed to understanding what
happened here, because we have had in the past similar
difficulties coordinating and communicating on the border,"
"We have got to get to the bottom of what happened. We've
got to learn lessons because, frankly, we need to continue to
cooperate here. We can't -- either of us, Pakistan, United
States, or Afghanistan, frankly -- allow these areas to remain
safe havens for terrorists. So we've got to work this out and
that's what we're committed to doing," Nuland said.
"But I'm not going to prejudge this report until it is
out and until we've had a chance to talk to the Pakistanis
about it, work with them on it, and learn lessons from it and
improve procedures as a result of it," she said.
First Published: Friday, December 16, 2011, 10:10