WASHINGTON: Gen. James N. Mattis, the head of the military’s Central Command will visit Pakistan this month and meet Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the Pakistani Army chief of staff, to discuss the investigations into the US attack at the Afghan border that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, as well as new border coordination procedures to prevent a recurrence of the episode.
General Mattis’s visit was slated to begin Thursday, but has been postponed by at least a week pending debate in the Pakistani Parliament over a new security policy toward the United States.
General Mattis’s visit is aimed at formally presenting to Pakistan the Central Command’s findings in the Nov. 26 episode.
“We’ve felt an apology would be helpful in creating some space,” said an American official who has been briefed on the State Department’s view and who spoke on the condition of anonymity as internal discussions continued.
The State Department is in support a proposal for the United States government to issue a formal apology for the deaths of the Pakistani soldiers in the Nov. 26 airstrike by American gunships. SAMAA