Washington: In a setback to US-Pak ties, the Pentagon on Monday said it is withdrawing its team of negotiators from Pakistan for a "short period of time" after having failed to secure a long-sought NATO supply route deal.
"I believe that some of the team left over the weekend and the remainder of the team will leave shortly," George Little, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters adding "This was a US decision".
"The decision was reached to bring the team home for a short period of time," Little added.
The negotiating team was in Pakistan to ensure opening up of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan which was blocked by Islamabad following the November 26 cross-border airstrike that resulted in the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers.
That incident had brought down the US-Pak ties to its lowest level with Pakistan demanding an unconditional apology from the US. However, the Obama administration has refused to do so.
According to media reports, Pakistan had demand USD 5,000 for each truck carrying supplies across its territory for NATO troops in Afghanistan.
However, it was brought down to about USD 1,800-2,000 during negotiations.
The bilateral ties have gone for a toss since beginning of last year.
The first dent came up when a CIA contractor Raymond Davis was involved in a shooting ion the busy streets of Peshawar last January.
Then in May, US Navy SEALs commandos in a daring unilateral raid flew in from Afghanistan into the garrison town of Abbottabad killing then al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.