Pakistan's long-awaited US review likely next week

By AFP
Published: March 16, 2012

A joint session of Pakistan's parliament tasked with reviewing and formally resetting troubled relations with the United States could start as early as Monday. PHOTO: APP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: A joint session of Pakistan’s parliament tasked with reviewing and formally resetting troubled relations with the United States could start as early as Monday, an official said.

“I think that this particular subject will be considered by the parliament starting from the 19th of this month,” foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told reporters, asked when parliament will conduct the review.

The process is considered key to getting Pakistani-US diplomatic relations onto a more solid footing after US air strikes last November killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and brought the relationship to its lowest point in years.

The review is seen as a precursor to Pakistan reopening its Afghan land border to NATO convoys, which have been sealed since November 26, and a resumption of high-level American diplomatic visits.

The November 26 strikes capped a disastrous year for an alliance already seriously compromised by the covert raid to kill Osama bin Laden on May 2 and the detention of a CIA contractor who killed two Pakistanis in January 2011.

Islamabad closed its Afghan border and ordered US personnel to leave the Shamsi airbase, reportedly a hub for covert American drone strikes against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal belt.

The foreign ministry spokesman said that a decision would be taken on reopening NATO supply lines after the parliamentary process is complete.

Pakistan is expected to tax convoys carrying NATO supplies from its port in Karachi and to the border with landlocked Afghanistan. Experts believe it may be able to earn $1 million a day from the arrangement.

The Washington Post newspaper wrote recently that Pakistan and the United States were working out a more pragmatic framework, which could involve fewer US drone strikes on militants. The strikes are publicly condemned by the Islamabad government.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Javeria
    Mar 16, 2012 - 2:45PM

    Is that why Saudi Ambassador hurried in delivering his King’s special message to Zardari. We need to fix Saudi invovlment into our internal affairs.

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  • Mar 16, 2012 - 3:19PM

    do what ever u people want to, just stop playing with the emotions of nation

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  • Thomas
    Mar 16, 2012 - 7:42PM

    Strange!. Pakistan wants to open nato supply lines ?. America has found other transport roots and Pakistan lost its importance to Nato for the supply root(Russia and other central
    asian countries) as Russia also opened the supply roots. For 3 months Nato hasn’t suffered much because of closed roots, but Pakistan lost money. Now Pakistan become so nice to open the supply roots?. Give me a break.!!!!

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  • Kaleem
    Mar 16, 2012 - 9:06PM

    @Thomas, its not about making money from NATO route, its matter of illegal invasion and our 26 soldiers. If nations are dignified, they have thousand ways to make money.

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  • Nand
    Mar 17, 2012 - 12:27AM

    @Kaleem:
    It is not a matter of illegal invasion and your 24 soldiers The drones prove the point. The establishment wanted to take on USA because USA hunted and got OBL INSIDE Pakistan and showed the double game it is playing. Establishment is only trained in sercring its borders and not in charge of running the country.

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  • Thomas
    Mar 17, 2012 - 1:44AM

    @Kaleem:

    But honestly speaking, don’t you see Pakistan as a nation is loosing importance in this ordeal?

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