While Nato Commander in Afghanistan Gen John Allen visited Pakistan to talk about border coordination with COAS Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Wednesday, the understandable other purpose of his visit was to move forward on the restoration of Nato supplies, which were suspended after NATO helicopter gunships massacred 24 Pakistani soldiers last November. Generall Kayani rightly told General Allen that the supplies could not be restored without an apology. The latest contact follows the suspension of talks on restoration by technical groups at the ministerial level, amid allegations that Pakistan was asking for too much money. That it has not had any result reflects that Pakistan feels very strongly in the matter and the US must meet the conditions for resumption before the supplies could reopen.

Another issue to have come up was the situation in Upper and Lower Dir, which witnessed attacks by militants on the Pakistan Army. Here General Allen could only assure General Kayani that the local Isaf commander had been assigned the investigation. Whereas the US, including the Nato commander, repeatedly call for Pakistan to take action against militants on its side of the border, particularly the Haqqani Network, it has at best proved unable to stop militants attacking Pakistani troops from within Afganistan.

Along with constant drone attacks, for which no acceptable justification has been provided, there has been an imperial refusal to apologise for the Pakistani soldiers martyred at Salala. The US, irritated by the increase in expense of supplying troops by alternative routes, continues to refuse an apology which the circumstances absolutely demand. Nor has it advised Nato to apologise, an alternative that the Pakistani military indicated it was willing to accept. Meanwhile, the US continues to evade, while Pakistan continues to insist; now more bound than ever to the idea, by its own parliamentary review.