Zardari will attend Chicago summit: Spokesperson

Published: May 16, 2012

DCC also endorses Zaradri's Chicago Trip. PHOTO: FILE

WASHINGTON: After US set aside the condition of reopening Nato supply route for the presence of Pakistan at the Chicago summit, President Asif Ali Zardari too has decided to attend the crucial meeting this weekend, the Pakistan Embassy in Washington said on Tuesday. It brought closure to speculation that Islamabad might be omitted from high-level talks on Afghanistan’s future.

Nadeem Hotiana, an embassy spokesman, confirmed that Zardari would attend the conference, scheduled for May 20-21.  Given that Washington, which had earlier extended the invitation despite an agreement on the reopening of the supply line yet to be reached, demonstrated that they valued Pakistan’s presence at the summit more.

Pakistan had shut the land communication route in November after a Nato attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Observing this, the Defence Committee of the Cabinet announced that it would endorse Zardari’s presence in Chicago later in the week.

Senior Pakistan officials including Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had both signalled a need to reopen the supply lines, observing that keeping the route shut was detrimental for Pakistan.

US looks forward to resolving Nato supply route issue with Pakistan

The US state department, quizzed over whether extending Pakistan an invitation to the Chicago summit meant abandoning the demand of reopening supply route, spokesperson Victoria Nuland reiterated that negotiations were still underway but it was considered important that Pakistan attend the moot.

“We are continuing our discussions with the Pakistanis. Our technical team is still there. We are making progress. We have not yet completed an agreement. We do consider the agreement important, but we also consider — and all of our NATO partners considered it important — to have Pakistan in the ISAF and neighbours event at the summit in Chicago,” she said.

Explaining the invitation to the summit, she said that “as a neighbour of Afghanistan, Pakistan does have an important role to play in supporting Afghan security. We do want to see these land routes opened. We are continuing to work on it. But we thought it was important to have them at the summit in this partnership role.”

Nuland though hoped that the route reopens before the summit commences. “Obviously, it’ll be a wonderful signal if we can get it done by the time of the summit. But we decided nonetheless — NATO countries all together decided that it was important to have Pakistan in the ISAF meeting.”

She reminded the gathered media persons that negotiations with Pakistan were far from over. “But it’s not finished till it’s finished.”

Reader Comments (16)

  • Recycled One
    May 16, 2012 - 2:36AM

    We did not participate in the Bon conference but now He will attend the Chicago conference like a puppet and will ask for the conditional Aid (what we don’t need) …..this is what it makes clear that what level of respect we have got at international level. time to re-think Mr. President.

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  • Recycled Thought
    May 16, 2012 - 2:38AM

    Yes go there like a puppet.

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  • kala_bacha
    May 16, 2012 - 3:24AM

    Who can missed the free ride on ghareeb goverment expenses!

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  • American Muse
    May 16, 2012 - 5:39AM

    Zardari is shameless!

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  • Cautious
    May 16, 2012 - 5:47AM

    Maybe your President can use this conference as a pulpit to finally announce how Pakistan is going to help Afghanistan. To date Pakistan’s concerns have been pretty broad talking about stability – keeping India out – and not allowing USA military bases. Stability concerns sound great but ignore Pakistan’s informal policy of supporting militants who want to topple the Afghan govt and I am unsure how keeping India out or eliminating American air bases helps Afghanistan.

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    May 16, 2012 - 6:34AM

    When I first went to England to study, I noticed that some men always scored with girls. When asked how they did it?? Their response was an eye opener. I was told that “if one was ready to humiliate oneself with women, one always got them”. I never forgot that and my success rate shot up. President Zardari follows the same principle in Politics and International Relations, except that in his case the whole nation is humiliated not just an individual.

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  • Mirza
    May 16, 2012 - 7:03AM

    It is about time that both Pakistan and the US have frank and heart to heart talk and stop playing games and start working together to eradicate terrorism form our country. In addition we have to stop fooling the world and start telling the truth and show remorse on the presence of OBL in Pakistan all these years. Like his Indian visit the president should utilize this trip to its max and sort out all major issues with the civilized world. Time for Pakistanis to show they are all against terrorists and serious in the fight not being two faced anymore.

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  • kala_bacha
    May 16, 2012 - 7:31AM

    He will not ashamed while walking over the bodies of our jawaan with no regrets instead standing in conference with widowed, give me dollars!

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  • Jahanzeb Effendi
    May 16, 2012 - 7:50AM

    Will welcome him here most warmly on taxpayers money.

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  • Jaipal dahiya
    May 16, 2012 - 8:45AM

    Zid ul followed policies of usa blindly.Z.A BHUTTO was toppled with d direction of usa. MUSHI tried to show some resistance but when usa said pak will b eliminated with d help of India he immediately yielded.when kayani zardari resited nato supply usa threatend SANCTIONS and creation of independend Bolochistan ,present set up also wilted .what is ur so called all weather friend china doing.if nato supply is not allowf sanctions will b imposed assistance will b stopped economy will b shattered Bolochistan will b created. Horrible picture!!

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  • naeem hussain
    May 16, 2012 - 8:53AM

    What difference it will make for Pakistan?

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  • May 16, 2012 - 8:56AM

    enjoy yourself – lucky you are..

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  • Arindom
    May 16, 2012 - 8:57AM

    why blaming just Zardari – the establishment was behind this whole chest thumping and the following whimpering U-turn….

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  • Noble Tufail
    May 16, 2012 - 9:15AM

    what is in it for Pakistan ? to me it was more in Bon and is less in chicago… i am not an expert though.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    May 16, 2012 - 9:33AM

    @American Muse:
    You are absolutely right because Zardari’s controlling ropes are in US’ leaders hands and Zardari shall announce the re-opening of NATO’s supply routes formally in Chicago’s summit and Zardari’s main objective/purpose to attend the Chicago’s summit is re-opening the blocked NATO’s supply routes’ announcement.

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  • Ahmad
    May 16, 2012 - 11:54AM

    The NATO wants to deal with right “trader” directly..
    With all due respect to our PM, Pakistan should be represented by its PM who supposedly has more “constitutional” powers.. but, alas, everyone know who has real powers..
    May God protect Pakistan from dynasties and their remanants..

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