Panetta: US Will Never Apologize to Pakistan for Attack

Warns Pakistan Needs to Stop Focusing on 'Past Differences'

In an interview with Reuters, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that the US could never apologize to Pakistan for the November 26 attack on Pakistani military bases, which killed 24 soldiers.

We’ve made clear what our position is, and I think it’s time to move on,” Panetta added, saying that Pakistan was focusing too much “on past differences” and that “the time now is to move forward with this relationship.”

Panetta went on to demand that Pakistan reopen the supply routes to NATO-occupied Afghanistan, which Pakistan closed in retaliation for the attack. Panetta had recently told Congress the closure was costing the US an additional $100 million a month to supply the occupation.

The US and Pakistan had been negotiating on the reopening of the route, with Pakistan initially demanding an end to US drone strikes, then an increased fee and an apology for the attack. Panetta had condemned the increased fee as “price gouging” and the US has escalated the drone war since then. Talks, needless to say, have stalled.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.