Pakistan signals end to blockade of NATO supplies
PAKISTAN: Top Pakistani leaders will Tuesday discuss ending a
blockade of foreign military supply routes into Afghanistan and
repairing US relations, signalling a rapprochement ahead of a NATO
Islamabad shut its Afghan border to NATO supplies after US air
strikes killed 24 soldiers in November, provoking a new crisis in
relations on top of the outcry from the US raid that killed Osama bin
Laden the previous May.
But Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Monday that it was
time to "move on", conceding a key demand from the West in time for
Pakistan to attend the NATO summit in Chicago on Sunday and Monday.
Pakistan has called in vain for an end to US drone strikes targeting
Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants on its soil, and a formal apology for the
But analysts say Pakistan has no choice but to reopen the border when
US cash is needed to help boost its meagre state coffers, at a time when
major NATO discussions are underway affecting its own strategic future.
"It was important to make a point, Pakistan has made a point and we
now need to move on and go into a positive zone and try to conduct our
relations," Khar told a news conference.
"We are trying to put this relationship, you know, in a positive zone
and I am quite sure that we will be successful in doing so," she said.