November 29, 2011
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR


   

PAKISTAN FOREIGN MINISTER HINA RABBANI KHAR DISCUSSES IMPACT OF NATO AIRSTRIKES ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN FIRST U.S. INTERVIEW ON NPR'S "ALL THINGS CONSIDERED"

EXCERPTS AND FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW; AUDIO AVAILABLE AT 7PM (ET) AT NPR.ORG

In her first U.S. interview since the NATO airstrikes that resulted in the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar tells NPR's All Things Considered host Melissa Block that Pakistan has to "do some serious introspection" regarding the "international effort in Afghanistan." Khar tells NPR: "I think we in Pakistan feel that Pakistan's role has been misinterpreted, has not been recognized, has not been appreciated enough. And on top of that, to have an incident in which we feel, at best, giving the benefit of doubt, our soldiers lost their lives to a extremely callous attitude this episode has obviously created a lot of rage in Pakistan because this is not the first time that Pakistan has lost its soldiers to NATO fire." A full transcript is below.

Asked if she questions whether the airstrikes were not a mistake, and instead a deliberate act of aggression, Khar says: "We would like to wait for the investigations. Currently, the briefings that we have gotten seem to be pointing towards a direction which is not a happy place to be in. If it is a deliberate attempt, then the question that I referred to would obviously be much, much, much more serious." As to whether her country will cooperate in an American-led investigation into the bombings, Khar tells NPR: "Pakistan has not responded to that yet, and I would not want to comment on that at this point in time. I think the questions raised in Pakistan are much larger than whether we would participate in an investigation or not. I want to emphasize on the fact that this is not an isolated incident."

A full transcript follows. All excerpts must be credited to "NPR's All Things Considered." Broadcast outlets may use up to sixty (60) consecutive seconds of audio from the interview. Television usage must include on-screen chyron to "NPR's All Things Considered" with NPR logo. Audio will be available at 7PM (ET) at: www.npr.org/2011/11/29/142911237/pakistani-foreign-minister-discusses-nato-bombing

All Things Considered, NPR's signature afternoon newsmagazine, is hosted by Melissa Block and Robert Siegel, and reaches more than 12 million listeners weekly. To find local stations and broadcast times for the program, visit www.npr.org/stations