US would be responsible if Pak fails in war on terror: Khar

Written by: Pti
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Hina Rabbani Khar
Islamabad, Dec 15: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar today (Dec 15) warned that the US would be responsible if Pakistan failed in the war on terrorism, a remark that comes in the backdrop of a move by American lawmakers to freeze aid worth $ 700 million to Islamabad.

The US would be responsible if Pakistan failed in the war on terrorism or if there were problems, Khar was quoted as saying by TV news channels here. She made the remarks while briefing the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, which met to discuss the issue of reviewing Pak-US ties.

Khar said Pakistan's relations with the US were "on hold" and would move forward if parliament allows it. She provided details to the parliamentary panel of two formal agreements with the US regarding NATO supply routes and defence cooperation.

The entire gamut of political, intelligence and military cooperation with the US is being reviewed, she told the panel. The US House of Representatives yesterday passed a legislation to freeze aid to Pakistan worth USD 700 million and the Senate is expected to vote on the measure this week.

The bill will freeze the aid pending assurances that Pakistan has taken steps to thwart militants who use improvised explosive devices against US-led forces in Afghanistan.

Following a cross-border NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said Pakistan intends to frame "new terms of engagement" for relations with the US and NATO.

Pakistan responded angrily to the attack by closing all NATO supply routes and forcing the US to vacate Shamsi airbase, which was reportedly used by CIA-operated drones.

A meeting of Pakistani envoys in key world capitals held this week drew up recommendations for recasting ties with the US. Gilani has asked the Parliamentary Committee on National Security to also submit recommendations which will be debated during a joint session of both houses of parliament that will give shape to future ties with the US.

Raza Rabbani, the head of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, told reporters that the Defence Ministry had signed about nine agreements with the US, NATO and International Security Assistance Force.

All these agreements were concluded by the previous military regime and he had sought details of the pacts, he said. The parliamentary panel will meet again on December 24 to review recommendations made by the envoys' conference and then suggest new terms of engagement that will be taken up at the joint session of the National Assembly and Senate, he said.


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