In an attempt to commence damage control, the US Ambassador to Pakistan is believed to have handed over a proposal to the government, envisaging a series of measures to repair bilateral ties, strained after last month’s Nato airstrikes on a Pakistani border post.
The proposal was ostensibly shared during Ambassador Cameron Munter’s meeting with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Friday.
Details of the proposal, however, were closely guarded.
“The Ambassador discussed the current status of bilateral relations between Pakistan and the US,” said a statement issued following the Khar-Munter meeting.
Relations between the two countries must be based on mutual respect, the foreign minister was quoted as saying.
“The recent incidents have led to a re-evaluation of our terms of engagement,” she added.
The American ambassador assured Khar of an early conclusion of the investigation into the November 26 airstrike, the statement said.
From Khar, to Gilani, to Kayani
The exchange wasn’t all rhetoric, though. Following her meeting with Munter, Khar is said to have rushed to the Prime Minister Secretariat.
Khar conveyed to Prime Minister Gilani the US proposal to resolve issues straining bilateral ties, sources say.
The premier subsequently held consultations with Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, purportedly to discuss the US proposal.
An official handout issued by the premier’s office, however, did not mention any specific proposal from Washington.
Gilani will also chair the concluding session of a two-day conference of envoys, summoned from selected capitals to deliberate the situation after Nato strikes.
The conference was convened to formulate suggestions to review and reevaluate terms of engagements with the US and Nato.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2011.
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