Pakistan’s seven-month-long refusal to allow U.S. and NATO supplies to cross its territory into Afghanistan is costing the United States an additional $100 million a month to fund alternative routes, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Wednesday.
Pakistan closed NATO supply line in November in the wake of US airstrike on border posts that had killed 24 soldiers.
Pakistan has demanded an apology for the deaths, and even though the White House has offered condolences, it has resisted formally apologising, saying both US and Pakistani forces made mistakes, reports the Wall Street Journal.
But in recent weeks the negotiating team looked like it was making progress — until Panetta’s ill-timed remarks.
During visiting India , Panetta decided to joke a little with his Indian audience, telling them how the U.S. kept Pakistan in the dark about the Navy Seal raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden last year.
“They didn’t know about our operation. That was the whole idea,” Panetta chuckled and the audience reportedly responded with laughter.
To humiliate Pakistan's army in a public forum in India.Defense secretary did not know that his remarks cost USA Over $3M a Day.
No wonder that before the weekend was out, Pakistani officials refused to meet with a senior Defense Department official in Islamabad and a nearly completed deal to reopen crucial NATO supply routes into Afghanistan was thrown under the bus.
The U.S. has been trying for months to reopen the GLOC’s without much success. A U.S. negotiating team left Pakistan this week without a deal after an apparent stalemate in the talks.