Islamabad:  US President Barack Obama should "show some courage" and apologise to Pakistan for a cross- border air strike by NATO forces in Afghanistan that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last year, the ruling PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said.

"I urge President Obama to show some courage. I understand he is running for re-election but if he is the same man who inspired the world with his message of hope and change, the future of the NATO mission in Afghanistan should be more important than poll numbers. Pakistan deserves an apology," Bilawal said.

The 23-year-old nominal chief of the PPP also demanded that the US end drone strikes within Pakistani territory. He made the remarks while addressing a gathering of party workers and supporters in New York on Monday night.

Bilawal said he was visiting America at "what may be the most critical point in the 65-year relationship between Pakistan and the US."

Islamabad's ties with Washington plunged to a new low after the NATO air strike on two border posts killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November last year.

The two sides have been unable to put their relations on an even keel due to Pakistan's insistence on an apology and a demand to end US drone strikes.

Obama refused to hold a formal one-to-one meeting with Bilawal's father, President Asif Ali Zardari, on the margins of a NATO Summit in Chicago because of Pakistan's refusal to reopen supply routes to Afghanistan that were closed after last year's air strike.


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