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Pak directs officials to move fast on ending NATO blockade

The Pakistan government has directed officials to finalise an agreement "as soon as possible" with the US to end a nearly six-month blockade of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.



Islamabad: The Pakistan government has directed officials to finalise an agreement "as soon as possible" with the US to end a nearly six-month blockade of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Wednesday.

"All institutions have been asked to complete the negotiations as soon as possible.
"We will move forward through negotiations on the basis of the resolution (adopted by a joint session of Parliament for resetting the relationship with the US and NATO)," Kaira said.

Following a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani that discussed ties with the US and the reopening of the supply routes, Kaira told a news conference the government had not set any deadline for concluding negotiations with the American administration.

"The executive authority and all stakeholders will decide the issue. National honour and national interests will be kept in mind while making a decision," he said.
The cabinet also endorsed President Asif Ali Zardari`s participation in a crucial NATO Summit in Chicago next week, he said.

Islamabad: The Pakistan government has directed officials to finalise an agreement "as soon as possible" with the US to end a nearly six-month blockade of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Wednesday.

"All institutions have been asked to complete the negotiations as soon as possible.
"We will move forward through negotiations on the basis of the resolution (adopted by a joint session of Parliament for resetting the relationship with the US and NATO)," Kaira said.

Following a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani that discussed ties with the US and the reopening of the supply routes, Kaira told a news conference the government had not set any deadline for concluding negotiations with the American administration.

"The executive authority and all stakeholders will decide the issue. National honour and national interests will be kept in mind while making a decision," he said.
The cabinet also endorsed President Asif Ali Zardari`s participation in a crucial NATO Summit in Chicago next week, he said.

The two sides were unable to get their ties back on an even keel as Pakistan insisted on an unconditional apology for the air strike.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has sought to delink the demand for the apology from the reopening of the NATO supply lines.

She told a TV news channel today that the demand from the apology from the US, which was still "on the table", should not be linked to relations with the nearly 50 members of NATO.

Pakistani and US officials are currently giving the final shape to new terms and conditions on the supply routes, including the fee to be charged for NATO containers and tankers passing through Pakistani territory.

The Pakistan government has also said it will allow only non-lethal supplies to be sent to Afghanistan.

Islamabad is looking to more than double the fees for NATO containers, which could earn the country up to a million dollars a day, sources said.

PTI

From Zee News

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