WASHINGTON - The former US ambassador to Islamabad on Wednesday criticised Washington’s ‘callousness’ over the killing of Pakistani troops as he called for both nations to rethink how they see each other.

Cameron Munter served as ambassador during some of the most difficult times of the turbulent US-Pakistan relationship including the killing of Osama bin Laden and a US border raid that killed 24 Pakistani troops in November 2011.

Munter, who resigned last year, said that the United States had shown a lack of generosity over the deaths of the 24 troops. “The fact that we were unable to say that we were sorry until July cost our country literally billions of dollars,” Munter said, pointing to the costly shift to sending supplies for the Afghan war via Central Asia.

“But worse than that, it showed a kind of callousness that makes it so difficult simply to begin to talk about those things, that I’ve always tried to stress, that we have in common,” he said at the Atlantic Council, a think tank.

Munter steadfastly denied conspiracy theories and said the deaths near the Afghan border were a case of mistaken identity. Munter said that US-led forces ‘obliterated’ the soldiers by firing from an AC-130, a powerful gunship. “If you don’t have that in common - that you’re sorry when there is nothing left of the bodies of 24 of your boys - then it’s very hard for many people, especially those who want a relationship with us... to defend us to their peers,” Munter said.

Munter called for the United States to change its way of thinking but was also critical of Pakistan. He urged the two countries to get past “the tyranny of negative narratives.”