NATO Summit: Zardari adamant, refrains from making promises

In his short speech, President Zardari gave no indication that Islamabad would be reopening vital NATO supply routes anytime soon.

Last Updated: May 23, 2012, 00:52 AM IST

Chicago: Despite intense pressure and NATO`s public call for reopening supply routes through Pakistan in the NATO Summit declaration, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari made no promises in Chicago.

In his short speech, President Zardari gave no indication that Islamabad would be reopening vital NATO supply routes anytime soon without the preconditions Pakistan`s Parliament had put in place, reports The Express Tribune.

He told the gathering of more than 50 nations that "Pakistan believed in partnerships based on trust and respect. Partnerships that will secure the future of our people."

Zardari, however, did address the pressing matter of the reopening of NATO supply routes, saying Islamabad had ordered negotiators to conclude a deal with the United States.

Zardari said the cabinet`s Defence Committee "decided to direct the relevant officials to conclude negotiations for resumption of the Ground Lines of Communication" needed to supply foreign troops in Afghanistan.

In his address, Zardari called the botched air raid "a serious setback" that "required that we review our engagement and cooperation."

The parliament "has spoken in favour of cooperation and a partnership approach," he said, adding that Pakistan was bound by the advice of parliament and the democratic forces.

"Our parliament has also recommended that foreign fighters and non-state actors seeking to destabilise Afghanistan and the region, if found on our soil, must be expelled. We are devising a comprehensive plan for this purpose. This would require the support of the international community both in terms of resources and capacity building. It will also require measures aimed at the economic well-being of the people of the areas affected by the military action," he added.

ANI