Islamabad: With Western pressure mounting on
Pakistan over its Afghan meet boycott, Prime Minister Yousuf
Raza Gilani on Wednesday seemed to have softened his stand saying
Islamabad cannot attend the crucial Bonn conference if it did
not receive assurances from the world community about its
security and sovereignty.
The statement, which appears to give room for
reconciliation, comes after US, Afghanistan and Germany
publicly asked Pakistan to reconsider its yesterday`s decision
to boycott the crucial meet on the future of Afghanistan
scheduled for December 5.
"If we have no assurance about Pakistan`s security,
sovereignty, integrity, honour, dignity and self-respect, then
we cannot go (to the Bonn Conference)", Gilani told reporters
He was responding to a query on the cabinet decision taken
yesterday following the NATO air strike on military border
posts that killed 24 soldiers, an incident that has already
send the Pak-US relations for a toss.
However, after the Pakistan decision to boycott the Bonn
conference, the West have stepped up efforts to ensure
Islamabad`s participation in the meet, in which 85 nations and
15 international organisations are due to attend.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while voicing
regret at Pakistan`s decision today hoped it would reconsider
and find a "follow-up way" to take part in the talks in
"Pakistan like the United States has a profound interest
in a secure, stable and increasingly democratic Afghanistan,"
the US` chief diplomat said.
Afghan President Hamid Karazi had called up Gilani
yesterday and asked him to reconsider the decision to boycott
the Bonn Conference.