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Pakistan leaders discuss US ties, Nato supply route

Publication Date : 16-06-2012


Pakistan's political and military leadership met at the presidency yesterday evening and discussed the issues of regional security and relations with the United States.

The meeting jointly presided over by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was attended by Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

President Zardari has also called a meeting of coalition partners on Saturday to exchange views with them on proposals to normalise Pakistan-US relations and the issue of reopening of Nato supply lines.

The parties in the ruling coalition had discussed the matter at a meeting held at the presidency on Wednesday.

According to Inter-Services Public Relations, officers of Pakistan Army and Nato met in an area on the Pakistan-Afghan border on Friday.

Gen Kayani briefed the meting at the presidency on matters discussed at the meeting with Nato officials.

Sources said Nato had given assurance to the government that roads from Karachi to Torkham damaged by the movement of Nato trucks would be repaired and rebuilt.

Pakistan closed the supply routes after Nato’s air strikes on the Salala checkpost which killed 24 troops in November last year.

It has linked the restoration of supply routes to an apology over the incident, which has not yet been forthcoming.

Media reports have quoted US military personnel as saying that the United States has been bearing billions of dollars of additional cost on Nato supplies by air and through alternative routes since the suspension of supplies via Pakistan.

During a separate meeting with the president, Prime Minister Gilani and some other leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party discussed the controversy sparked by allegations of a business deal between real estate tycoon Malik Riaz and Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, son of the chief justice.

“The current situation in the country was discussed at the meeting,” President’s Spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

He said the prime minister briefed the president on Pakistan’s participation in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development which would be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pakistan will be represented at the conference by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Minister for Climate Change Rana Muhammad Farooq.

Gilani also briefed the president on the energy situation.

The president felicitated the prime minister, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and coalition partners on the approval of the government’s fifth budget by the National Assembly on Thursday.

The meeting also discussed the law and order situation in various parts of the country.


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