Pak, US agree ties must be based on respect: Khar

Pakistan-US relations have been buffeted by several crises since last year.

Islamabad: Pakistan and the US, whose ties
have been buffeted by several crises since last year, have
agreed that their relations must be based on mutual respect
and pursuing common interests, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani
Khar said on Wednesday.

Khar made the remarks during a meeting with Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani this morning, according to an
official statement from the Premier`s office.

She briefed Gilani on her recent visit to Britain, where
she also met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the
margins of an international conference.

The Foreign Minister said she and Clinton had "agreed
that relations between Pakistan and the US were important and
must be based on mutual respect."

The two countries should also "be seen to pursue mutual
interest at the same level," Khar said.

Pakistan-US relations have been buffeted by several
crises since last year, including the gunning down of two
Pakistani men by a CIA contractor in Lahore, the killing of
Osama bin Laden by American commandos in Abbottabad and a
cross-border NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers
in November.

Gilani ordered a Parliamentary review of bilateral
relations and new "terms of engagement" for the US will be
unveiled after a joint session of the two houses of Parliament
that is likely to be held in March.

Khar told the Premier she had briefed Clinton "on the
ongoing Parliamentary process to revisit terms of engagements
with the US."

She further said she had extensive interactions with her
British counterpart William Hague and other British ministers.

Khar had visited Britain for parleys under the Enhanced
Strategic Dialogue between the two countries.

Khar said Britain has invited Gilani to undertake a
bilateral visit during the first half of the year.

She also briefed the Premier on her visit last week to
the United Arab Emirates to co-chair a meeting of the Joint
Ministerial Commission with her UAE counterpart.
Pakistan`s role in pursuing regional peace and security
was "highly appreciated" at this meeting, she said.