Will retaliate against all future attacks: Khar

Hina Rabbani Khar
Islamabad, Dec 13: As Pakistan brainstorms to revamp its foreign policy after last month's deadly NATO strike, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said the country will retaliate against all future attacks but also made it clear that Islamabad is not taking its ties with the US to a point of no return.

Khar made the remarks as she presided over a session of the two-day meeting of envoys convened to frame recommendations for a foreign policy revamp at the Foreign Office yesterday following the November 26 NATO strike that killed its 24 soldiers.

Senior civil and military officials interacted with the country's envoys in 15 capitals, including New Delhi and Beijing, to discuss Pakistan's relations with the US and NATO in the wake of the air strike.

Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha told the meeting that the NATO attack was "intentional and provocative", The News daily reported.

The meeting was also attended by Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee chairman Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne.

The meeting will finalise recommendations for the proposed foreign policy revamp though "no drastic changes are expected", the report said.

"We will see some fine tuning of our foreign policy as we continue to face fresh challenges in the region," an unnamed diplomat was quoted as saying by the daily.

Khar has made it clear that Pakistan is not taking its ties with the US to a point of no return.

She said: "We value our relations with the US and NATO countries. Reassessment in our foreign policy will help us bring clarity, which will be in the long-term interest of our engagements with the US and others".

The report said the civil and military leadership are on the same page, sending a clear message to world capitals that Pakistan will "not be taken for granted, especially because of its role in the region".

The Foreign Office spokesman has said foreign policy is being reviewed in view of decisions made by the cabinet and the Defence Committee of the Cabinet.

He said the envoys' recommendations will be taken to parliament for a debate before Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani makes a final announcement.

Gilani would address the meeting today.


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