“It [Salala debacle] became an emotional issue on both sides. It took too long to get it resolved but both sides have learnt from this [as to] how we have to live with each other,” Cameron Munter, the US ambassador to Pakistan, said in an interview with Nadia Naqi on ExpressNews programme Takrar.
It’s good the ‘solution’ to the Salala episode was generally welcomed by peoples in both countries, he added.
Pakistan unblocked the Nato supply lines more than two weeks ago after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered a ‘near-apology’ to Islamabad over the death of two dozen troops in the Salala air strike. Asked why it took the Obama administration seven months to ‘apologise’, the American diplomat said that it was because emotions were at play ‘on both sides’. Ambassador Munter said the deadlock over the Nato routes affected not just Pakistan and the United States, but 50 other countries whose troops are fighting the militants ‘who want to attack Pakistani way of life’.
“The resumption [of Nato supplies] will help Pakistani soldiers as much as it’ll help US and Isaf soldiers in the common fight against militants,” he added. He said Islamabad and Washington could now start working out other issues that had been put on the backburner for seven months due to the stalemate over the Nato supply lines.
“It’s my understanding that our experts continue to talk with you about the ways we are going to implement the agreements that have made,” he added. The US diplomat said that Pakistan’s army, its parliament and its executive respect the United States and “we want to keep good relationships with them”. However, he admitted lack of trust between the two countries. “Unfortunately, some events took place during the last two years that added to the mistrust about the Americans and it will take a lot of time to heal,” he added.