Pakistan looking for 'positive conversation' on Nato routes in Chicago: Sherry Rehman

Says topic of US apology over check post attack not going off the table.

May 19, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, Sherry Rehman has said that Pakistan is looking at a 'positive' conversation about reopening of Nato supply routes but it will be pre-mature to say when the trucks will resume supply.

"Pakistan is still demanding US President Barrack Obama’s apology over Pakistani soldiers death in US air strikes," she told CNN in an interview.

About crossing over of four trucks into Afghanistan, she said,"we are allowing diplomatic cargo, and as far as I know, trucks, cargo and lorries are suspended, ban on some humanitarian supply may have lifted but no serious materials have been crossing over and all have been suspended for six months."

On the eve of the Chicago summit, Ambassador Rehman spelled out Islamabad's position on various issues including the November 26,2011, cross-border drone strikes, reopening of Nato supply routes, Pak-US ties after Salala incident, the May 2 incident and Haqqani network issues.

About the Chicago summit, she said this is a big summit where all leaders especially Pakistan and Afghanistan will be conferring to bring stability and peace to the region. She added that Pakistan had a role in the region and the alliance's summit presented an opportunity to redefine it.

"We have joint goals that can converge, but you know that the relationship is in a bad place for over six months," she pointed out.

About the formal apology from the US over November 26 Nato air strikes, the ambassador said this issue is not going off the table -- 24 coffins draped in our national flag, killed at the hands of not an enemy, but a friend has caused national furor in Pakistan.

She said a joint sitting of the Parliament has asked for a formal apology from the US and Pakistani people seek restriction over air strikes’ deaths.

“This unconditional invitation to Pakistan is a very positive breakthrough. We don't want interference in Afghanistan, but want to support peaceful security transition, which can also bring stability to the region," the envoy said.

On the issue of Osama bin Laden, Sherry Rehman said that there is an Abbottabad Commission that is investigating it. "No body wanted to see OBL in Pakistan, we have helped hunt down al Qaeda," she said.

About the Haqqani network, she said, it has become a catch word to judge the Pak-US relationship, however, she cautioned that the entire relationship could not be predicated on this spin. She pointed out that the Pak-Afghan border is a porous border and it needs policing on both sides to stop the free movement of terrorists across it.


gp65 | 9 years ago | Reply

@Historian: Pakistan is the one that needs the money. All negotiations are centered on how much US will pay per truck. US used to pay 250 dollars per truck and Pakistan now wants 5000 dollars per truck or 20 times - which US and NATO have refused.

Once the dollar amount is settled, the routes will be opened. Do not hold your breath for an apology.

j. von hettlingen | 9 years ago | Reply

No doubt it was a tragic incident when the 24 soldiers were killed last November. It was an accident and the top brass in the U.S. armed forces had expressed their grief an regrets. But it didn't seem to be enough! Pakistan is demanding for a formal apology. Every day innocent people fall victims to crime and terror attacks in Pakistan and die. The government doesn't capitalise on their death to press for political gains like in this case. Is it fair that the lives of these 24 soldiers were worth more.

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