Cannot attend Bonn meet without assurance: Gilani
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 21:15
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 in Karachi.

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 Germany.

"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.


First Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 21:15

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