Will seek surety and guarantees from US: Gilani

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 23:26

Islamabad: Blaming the Musharraf regime for
most of the problems in Pak-US ties, Prime Minister Yousuf
Raza Gilani on Wednesday said Pakistan will seek "surety and
guarantees" for its sovereignty under new terms of engagement
with the US during talks that would be held "very soon".

"I need the surety and guarantees for the sovereignty of
my country and such (NATO strike) unilateral actions should
not be taken in future," Gilani told a news conference after
chairing a special meeting of the federal cabinet in the
northwestern city of Peshawar.

Gilani sought recommendations from the Foreign Office and
the Parliamentary Committee on National Security for a revamp
of ties with the US and NATO after the air strike on two
Pakistani military border posts on November 26 that left 24
soldiers killed.

The attack took the already strained Pakistan-US relations
for a spin.

The recommendations given by Pakistan`s top envoys and the
parliamentary panel will be debated by a joint session of both
houses of parliament to frame new terms of engagement with the
US, he said.

The whole country will back new terms of engagement that
are evolved through collective wisdom, he added.

Gilani contended that most of the problems in Pakistan-US
ties were due to understandings forged by the previous
military regime.

The last military regime was headed by former Pakistan
Army chief Gen Pervez Musharraf.

However, Gilani said his government had decided to tell
the US that "enough is enough" and that no compromise would be
made on Pakistan`s sovereignty.

"We are all upset now. When the talks start, then we will
discuss these matters," he said, referring to strains in ties
with the US.

He said he expected that talks with the US would start
"very soon".

Gilani also ruled out the possibility of holding talks
with militants who do not renounce violence.

"Those who are not militants, we can have talks with them.
We will not talk with those who are militants," he said.

"The militants, according to tribal customs, should
surrender in front of the political agent, they should
denounce terrorism and extremism and decommission themselves.
"We`ll then invite them to be in the mainstream and we
would be ready to work with them," he said.

In response to a question, Gilani said Pakistan wants a
peaceful, prosperous, independent, stable and sovereign

"Others will come and go, we have to stay here and our
borders are common.

"Both are victims and the terrorists are our common enemy.
The new terms of engagement will help improve ties with
Afghanistan," he said.

Pakistan responded angrily to last month`s air strike by
closing all NATO supply routes and forcing the US to vacate
Shamsi airbase, which was reportedly used by CIA-operated


First Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 11:56

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