Time for Pakistan to review relations, says Khar

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Hina Rabbani Khar
Islamabad, Nov 30: With a deadly NATO air raid sparking outrage in Pakistan, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said it was time for the country "to review its relations" while demanding "complete clarity" from the international community on Islamabad's sovereignty.

Khar said the US has been issued a notice to vacate the Shamsi airbase in Balochistan province within 15 days in line with the cabinet's decision. Describing the air raid on border posts in Mohmand Agency as a breach of sovereignty and a violation of international law, Khar said, "The time has come to review our relations".

Numerous reports have said that Shamsi airbase, which was leased to the United Arab Emirates by Pakistan in 1992, is used by CIA-operated drones. Angered by Saturday's cross-border NATO air strike that killed 24 soldiers, Pakistan asked the US to vacate the airbase and shut down all NATO supply routes. Khar told state-run PTV that Pakistan had supported the world community in the war against terrorism and made "great sacrifices".

Pakistan's positive cooperation must be recognised at the international level and not taken as its "weakness", she said. The country's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected at all cost, she said, adding the people and the government will not tolerate such incidents in future.

"We don't want any aid or assistance but we want to live with dignity and honour," she added. Demanding "complete clarity" from the international community about Pakistan's sovereignty, Khar said the country wanted to move forward with honour and dignity. She said it was up to "Pakistan's political forces to evolve a future strategy keeping in view the current situation".

PTI

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