Pak Parl to decide future ties with US: Khar

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Hina Khar
Islamabad, Dec 9: Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Friday (today) said that Pak parliament will decide the contours of future relations with the US and its allies after the last month's cross-border NATO air strike.

"Parliament will decide what sort of relations we have with the US and ISAF (International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan)," Khar told a TV news channel. The government had decided to "reassess and re-evaluate" the terms of engagement with the US after the NATO attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, she said. The review had become necessary because "established red lines" in ties with the US, NATO and ISAF had been crossed "several times", culminating with the cross-border air strike that killed 24 soldiers, Khar said.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani recently asked the Parliamentary Committee on National Security to give its recommendations for new terms of engagement on key foreign policy issues, including ties with the US. These recommendations will be debated during a joint session of both houses of parliament as part of a comprehensive review of Pakistan-US ties, he has said.

The Foreign Office has convened a meeting of Pakistani envoys in key world capitals during December 12-13 as part of the same exercise. The purpose of the meeting will be to "deliberate on different aspects of Pakistan's foreign policy," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said. Khar made it clear that a US apology for the NATO air strike would not be adequate to reset Pakistan-US relations. "If one thinks that we are waiting for an apology, I think that’s not a fair assessment," she said.

PTI

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