Lobbyist for Pakistan seeks US apology over NATO airstrikes

Lobbyist for Pakistan seeks US apology over NATO airstrikesPakistan’s chief lobbyist asked the United States to apologize for NATO airstrikes that inadvertently killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, according to Justice Department records.

On Dec. 22, 2011, Mark Siegel, a partner at Locke Lord Strategies, emailed a nine-page memo to offices on Capitol Hill that detailed Pakistan s version of the events surrounding the airstrikes.The memo said that the incident “seriously damaged” the relationship between the Pakistani Army and U.S.-led NATO forces and aroused “suspicions in the rank and file of the Pakistan Army that it was a premeditated attack … conducted to undermine the sovereignty and stature of Pakistan.”

“Considering the circumstances of the 25/26 November attacks that resulted in the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers, an apology by the U.S. Department of Defense to the people of Pakistan would not be inappropriate,” the memo concludes.Siegel noted in the memo that the document was prepared after “briefings by multiple officials of the Embassy of Pakistan.”In an interview with The Hill, Siegel said his firm’s memo on the NATO airstrikes was sent to all lawmakers, chiefs of staffs and foreign policy legislative aides on Capitol Hill.

“What we were attempting to do there was summarize the Pakistan version of events and compare it to the U.S. version of events and note where the two are in conflict,” Siegel said.Siegel said an apology still has not been offered to Pakistan for the airstrikes.“There have been expressions of regret but there has not been an apology,” Siegel said. “It certainly would have helped. Now, two months after the fact, it could still be helpful.” – Duniyanews