Afghan endgame: Pakistan likely to attend NATO summit in Chicago

Published: April 11, 2012
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No decision yet as to who will represent the country at the gathering.

No decision yet as to who will represent the country at the gathering.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is likely to attend a key summit convened by the North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) in the United States where world leaders will discuss the endgame in the war-torn Afghanistan.

“Nato had extended a formal invitation to Islamabad early last year when the summit’s schedule was finalised,” a Foreign Office official told The Express Tribune, requesting anonymity.

Nearly 50 heads of state and government will attend the summit which will be held on May 20 and 21 in Chicago.

Islamabad had boycotted the December 2011 conference in the German city of Bonn in protest at a deadly Nato air raid on its border posts that killed two dozen troops.

But Pakistan will not skip the Chicago conclave.

“It is, however, yet to be decided as to who should represent Pakistan at the summit,” said the official. “Ideally, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani should attend the summit.”

The Chicago summit will principally focus on three crucial issues: Nato’s commitment to Afghanistan through transition and beyond; ensuring that the alliance has the capabilities it needs to defend its population and territory and to deal with the challenges of the 21st century; and strengthening the alliance’s network of partners across the globe.

Nato has already announced its commitment to supporting Afghanistan beyond 2014 when foreign troops withdraw from the country and Afghan forces take over the security responsibility. Pakistan is seen as key to a stable Afghanistan beyond 2014.

“It goes without saying that we need positive engagement of Pakistan if we are to ensure long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the region. And my bottom-line is very clear: We need a strong partnership with Pakistan,” Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen had told a news conference on September 30, last year.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Diggvijay Singh
    Apr 11, 2012 - 10:06AM

    In population size Pakistan is 6th largest country in the world. With 180 million Muslims it is the second largest Muslim nation after Indonesia. The NATO and USA have to listen to Pakistan’s wishes regarding Afghan future since AfPak is the geo-strategic heartland. No doubt Pakistan’s guidance is necessary for the whole world to achieve everlasting peace.

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  • Shyam
    Apr 11, 2012 - 12:44PM

    @Digvijay Singh

    Please dont flatter yourself

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  • MarkH
    Apr 11, 2012 - 1:42PM

    @Diggvijay Singh:
    Besides the statistics, everything else you said is about as untrue as it gets. If the reason hadn’t been discussed so many times it’s nauseating I’d probably elaborate. Instead I’m going to work on convincing myself that you were being sarcastic because the alternative is just too sad.

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  • G. Din
    Apr 11, 2012 - 4:13PM

    @MarkH: to Digvijay Singh
    “Instead I’m going to work on convincing myself that you were being sarcastic…”
    You are on the right track!

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Apr 11, 2012 - 4:19PM

    Yes, Pakistan is key to peace in the region, a strategic important one. But Pakistan has to tackle its economy as well. Doesn’t the government in Islamabad yearn for stabilty and prospertiy for the country?

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  • Cautious
    Apr 11, 2012 - 7:48PM

    The only thing that has changed since Pakistan’s last tantrum is the fact that Pakistan now knows the World doesn’t care whether you show up or not – and NATO is leaving on it’s terms not yours.

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  • Patriot Afghan
    Apr 11, 2012 - 8:41PM

    @Cautious:
    You are right about Pakistan, Pakistan boycotted 2nd Berlin Conference about Afghanistan and they thought that by boycotting they will change anything, unfortunately nothing good happened for Pakistan, and now as another International Meeting is taking place in Chicago about the future of Afghanistan they feel very abandoned, even though if they are not invited they will try to participate in Chicago Meeting. I think as an ordinary Afghan I am really disappointed by the Pakistan government behavior toward Afghanistan, they still think that we are the same country which we were in 1995-1996. Now Afghanistan has an Army, it might not be as well equipped as Pakistan or Iran but they have courage and prowess in their blood, they are master of Fighting and Wars, every Afghan is a professional soldier, and we will do everything to protect Afghanistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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  • u liar
    Apr 11, 2012 - 10:06PM

    Why Pakistan want to have role regarding the future of Afghanistan. This kind of demand is naked interference in the affairs of a sovereign country. Only the people of Afghanistan have the right to decide about the future of their country.Recommend

  • Apr 12, 2012 - 8:46AM

    @j. von hettlingen

    Clearly you are unfamiliar with the ways of puppets.

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