Pakistan sends notice to US to vacate airbase

Pakistan has sent a notice to the US to vacate the Shamsi airbase that is used to launch drone attacks.

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2011, 12:16 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan has sent a notice to the US to vacate the Shamsi airbase that is used to launch drone attacks, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said, adding that time had come to review its relations with that country.

Khar said Tuesday that in line with the decisions of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet, a notice has been sent to the US for vacating the Shamsi airbase in Balochistan province within 15 days, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

Describing Saturday`s NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers as a breach of Pakistan`s sovereignty, the foreign minister said: "Time has come to review our relations."

Khar told PTV that Pakistan`s positive cooperation must be recognised at international level and should not be taken as its weakness.

Khar stressed that the country`s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected at all cost.

She added the country would not tolerate such incidents in future.

"We don`t want any aid or assistance, but we want to live with dignity and honour," she was quoted as saying.

To a query, the foreign minister said: "It is up to Pakistan`s political forces to evolve future strategy, keeping in view the current situation."

"It is for the first time that the decision to halt NATO supply was taken at the highest level," she said, adding: "We cannot sacrifice our national interests."

This year has seen a significant deterioration in the US-Pakistan ties. In February, Raymond Davis, an undercover CIA agent, was arrested in the eastern city of Lahore for killing two Pakistani nationals. Then al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed May 2 by US commandos who swooped into Abbottabad without tipping off the Pakistani military.

Earlier this month, a secret memo to Washington said that President Asif Ali Zardari had feared a military coup, leading to Husain Haqqani stepping down as US envoy. Even before the dust could settle down, the major NATO attack on two Pakistani checkposts worsened the ties.

IANS