Washington: The agreement of NATO with Central Asian Republics on supply routes and withdrawal of their equipment from Afghanistan does not mean that the United States has given up on its negotiations with Pakistan on reopening of the ground lines of communication, US officials said on Tuesday.
"No, I would not take the pursuit of this deal and this agreement as any kind of repudiation of the importance of those gates or the larger relationship with Pakistan," Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt John Kirby told reporters at a news conference here on Tuesday.
“No, I wouldn`t take it that way at all," Kirby said when asked if the US has given up on its talks with Pakistan now that NATO has signed agreements with Central Asian Republics in this regard.
He stressed the importance of Shaman and the Torkham Gates in Afghanistan for the flow of coalition traffic.
"We continue to be in discussions with our Pakistani counterparts about trying to get those gates open, and in general trying to improve the relationship with Pakistan at large," he said.
At another news conference, State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said NATO`s agreement with Central Asian Republics is to allow two-way transit of non-lethal military equipment in and out of Afghanistan.
"We want to see, obviously, the GLOCs open as soon as possible, but this is a logistically challenging region, so we like that built-in redundancy," he said, adding that those negotiations are ongoing.
Responding to questions, Toner said the US has still not heard from Pakistan on the clarification it sought on the fresh charges against the Pak doctor who helped CIA trace Osama bin Laden.
A local court has sentenced the doctor to 33 years of imprisonment on treason charges.