Pakistan signals imminent end to NATO blockade

Pakistan signalled that it could shortly end a more than two-month blockade on NATO supplies entering Afghanistan for foreign forces.

Islamabad: Pakistan signalled on Thursday that it
could shortly end a more than two-month blockade on NATO
supplies entering Afghanistan for foreign forces.

Islamabad shut the border and ordered a review of its US
alliance after air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on
November 26, in what NATO and the US military later blamed on
a series of mistakes by both sides.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told reporters that
parliament, tasked with adopting the review, would "hopefully"
meet next week.

"I cannot pre-empt what the parliament is going to decide
but I would assume that should not be so much of a problem,"
she said when asked if the recommendations would include
re-opening the border.

Responding as to when parliament would pass the review,
she said: "I`m going to hopefully ensure and push it very hard
that it is no later than within a week... first half of
February is probable."

Islamabad rejects any blame for the November strikes,
which brought its relationship with the United States and NATO
to an all-time low.

When the route eventually re-opens, it is widely expected
to tax NATO convoys carrying supplies shipped to its port in
Karachi and trucked through its territory to landlocked
Afghanistan.

The United States has made increasing use of alternative
routes into Afghanistan through the north in order to mitigate
against losses in Pakistan.

PTI

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