By Geneva Sands - 05/24/12 08:07 PM EDT
"I think that an immediate apology was the humane, appropriate thing to do. I'd like the American public to consider what their reaction would have been had 24 American soldiers been killed in such a way on the border with Mexico. I think an apology would have been appropriate," said Zardari on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."
Zardari, the son of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and the late-Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, acknowledged that relations between the United States and Pakistan have "deteriorated over the last year," but said he is hopeful the two countries will resolve their differences and work together for a common goal.
Tensions were brought into focus last weekend at the NATO summit in Chicago when President Obama snubbed President Zardari by refusing to meet with him after Pakistan failed to reopen supply routes to Afghanistan that have been closed to NATO forces since the airstrike.
Relations were only further damaged Wednesday when news broke that a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden had been sentenced to 33 years in prison for “high treason," prompting outrage from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Zardari responded to anger felt in the United States by pointing out that it's a crime for anyone to collaborate with foreign intelligence, even if it's with a friendly country.
"We have independent judiciary, actually the democratic government of Pakistan restored an independent judiciary for the first time in our history. … Whether I wanted him out or not is irrelevant. I can't put pressure on the judiciary to decide either way," he said.