Zardari will attend Chicago summit: FO

By AFP
Published: May 17, 2012

President Asif Ali Zardari will attend a key NATO summit in Chicago on the future of Afghanistan. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari will attend a key NATO summit in Chicago on the future of Afghanistan, Islamabad confirmed on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar would accompany Zardari to Chicago, the foreign ministry said.

The cabinet on Wednesday welcomed a last-minute NATO invitation to Zardari, clearing the way for him to travel after Islamabad boycotted the last major talks on Afghanistan in Bonn last December over US air strikes that killed 24 of its troops.

By going to Chicago, Pakistan hopes to ease its international isolation and boost its leverage over the future of Afghanistan, as Western countries pull out their combat forces by 2014.

Pakistan is expected to lift a six-month blockade on NATO supplies travelling through its territory imposed in the wake of the November air strikes, but is still in negotiations with US officials on logistics and fees.

On Wednesday, the government ordered officials negotiating with the United States to finalise an agreement as quickly as possible, to allow thousands of trucks and oil tankers to carry non-lethal supplies from Karachi to landlocked Afghanistan.

Sources familiar with the talks say transit fees for the vehicles are the main sticking point and the border will probably reopen by early next week.

Islamabad is looking to more than double the payments, which could earn the country up to $1 million a day.

Reader Comments (18)

  • Faysal
    May 17, 2012 - 2:40PM

    Sure, the President needs a vacation to escape the stress of troubles that this country is in…. assuming that he cares.

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  • Dr.X
    May 17, 2012 - 2:48PM

    Of course, no surprises there!

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  • Not me
    May 17, 2012 - 2:52PM

    Pakistan should fully cooperate to root out terrorism from the region and for a peaceful region

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  • dv sikka
    May 17, 2012 - 3:00PM

    zardari enjoys good company.

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  • Muhammad Ishaq
    May 17, 2012 - 3:12PM

    Good. Take money. We need it.

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  • May 17, 2012 - 3:13PM

    Jeez Man! Just take a look at this face!!!

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    May 17, 2012 - 3:18PM

    Building connections is better than breaking them so God Bless You Sir & Pakistan Zindabad.

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  • Alikhan
    May 17, 2012 - 3:20PM

    Very wise decision . Pakistan should not and cannot isolate itself in the world

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  • Muhammad Ishaq
    May 17, 2012 - 3:21PM

    Zardari you are great and brave. Carry on….. :-)

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  • Muhammad.
    May 17, 2012 - 3:26PM

    Surprise surprise….

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  • jaipal adahiy
    May 17, 2012 - 5:28PM

    respected president/respected fm every thing alredy decided in london. play your role in the drama.wise decision. u have saved pak from economic disaster you need doolars so desperately

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  • masuma
    May 17, 2012 - 8:53PM

    very wise decision, terrorist should be eliminated with the help
    of Pak army & NATO.
    we love you mr president & PM

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  • Mirza
    May 17, 2012 - 9:18PM

    Thanks for building bridges not walls. Just like Indian trip that you took on your own this trip is going to be a game changer for Pakistan. Thanks for doing the right thing before it was too late. Recommend

  • King Kong
    May 17, 2012 - 10:17PM

    Not every invitation has to be accepted, just saying! He could have politely refused stating his health problems.

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  • rk
    May 17, 2012 - 11:35PM

    @masuma:
    how can they elimate what they have created…????? thats why u have drones..US drones.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    May 18, 2012 - 12:34AM

    He loves to attend any gathering he loves it shiny miny smile ….

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    May 18, 2012 - 4:29AM

    @Faysal:
    Agree. Plus he wanted to meet his lawyers and bankers to pay his US Income Taxes without which he may lose his Green Card.

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    May 18, 2012 - 4:33AM

    @King Kong:
    Whatever happened to his sudden heart attack that took him to Dubai when he feared arrest from Memogate??? He has never looked more healthier and never stopped being a leacher.

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