Rasmussen, Qureshi to hold talks following 'cross-border air strike standoff'

Islamabad, Oct 3 (ANI): In the wake of the NATO key supply route blockage by Pakistan in retaliation against the US forces-led cross-border air strikes into its territory, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen is reportedly going to meet Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday in this regard.

According to a statement released by NATO, Rasmussen and Qureshi will hold no press briefing after the talks, The News reported.

Qureshi is all set to visit the transatlantic alliance's headquarters in Brussels on the sidelines of a two-day Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

Earlier on Thursday, three Pakistani army men were killed in an early morning air strike by NATO helicopters at a military post, 200 metres inside the Pakistani border in Kurram Agency.

This was their fourth aerial violation of Pakistani territory in less than a week, but the first in which soldiers were killed. Reacting to the incident, Pakistan had suspended supply convoys along the Khyber Pass route, which links Peshawar in Pakistan with Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, and lodged a protest with the NATO command in Brussels, demanding an apology.

As about 80 per cent of NATO's supplies transit through Pakistan, which is the most convenient route for its troops, it is believed that the temporary stoppage was meant to remind the US how much it depended on Pakistan for sustaining its military operations in Afghanistan. (ANI)

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