Both Pakistan and the US have been stuck on the issue of an apology for the Salala check post killings, with neither side ready to give up its position, and with it the restoration of Nato supplies through Pakistan remains suspended. For Islamabad, it is as much a question of ego as of preserving its dignity and demanding an ally to at least admit to its dire mistake that lead to 24 people dying. Added to this, there is the issue of the predicted public backlash that restoration of the Nato supply channel would provoke in the country, without the above apology being tendered. The Salala incident was not only painful, but it also occurred at a time when tempers against the US highhandedness were already running high.
One would wish that the policymakers in Washington were to realise Islamabad’s compulsions and negotiate with it, not from a fixed position but with the intention of resolving it. Maybe, the two could find a common ground where neither does the US ego get hurt, nor does it leave a bad taste in the mouth for Pakistan. This could happen only when both sit down together with the spirit of compromise so essential for Washington for an honourable, and financially much cheaper, exit and for Islamabad to secure its vital interests in post-withdrawal Afghanistan. Neither country should suffer by keeping the long-drawn out controversy alive.