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US-Pakistan relations still tense after apology (2)

(Global Times)

09:22, July 09, 2012

Aftab Hussain

GT: The US issued an apology for the killing of 24 Pakistani troops. Why the change in attitude?

Kugelman: In fact the US attitude hasn't changed too much. It had wanted to apologize several times previously. However, it was stopped from doing so for a variety of reasons. In one case, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wanted to apologize earlier on. She actually began negotiating the text of an apology with a high-level Pakistani diplomat. However, she backed out when Pakistan said it wanted to wait until the opportune political moment to release the apology.

Additionally, US President Barack Obama late last year indicated an interest in apologizing, but his political advisors convinced him not to because it would make him look weak. His Republican opponents would also criticize him. This is a huge consideration in an election year.

The apology was finally made because the US finally acknowledged that Pakistan was not going to flinch. In other words, Pakistan really meant what it said that it would not open the supply lines unless the US said it was sorry.

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