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Pak in no hurry to reopen NATO supply routes:Gilani

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said his government is in no hurry to reopen the NATO supply routes that were closed after a cross-border air strike last year and that a decision on the issue will be made only after evolving consensus among political parties.

Gilani made the remarks during an interaction with reporters on board his special plane while flying back to Pakistan from China on Monday after attending the Boao Forum conference. He said the Parliamentary Committee on National Security will make a decision on the issue of reopening the supply routes to Afghanistan.

"Let the committee, which has representation from all political parties in parliament, decide what they want. The government has not set a timeframe for the committee to complete its deliberations and will wait for a final outcome," the premier said.

Since the reopening of the NATO supply routes is a "national security issue", the government wants everybody on board, Gilani said. He expressed the hope that his government will be able to reach a solution that will be accepted by all political parties.

Gilani referred to his efforts to involve all parties, including those in the opposition, in efforts to forge consensus on the supply routes.

The premier chaired a meeting of all political parties on March 29 that was also attended by the military top brass, including the army and Inter-Services Intelligence chiefs.

The government forced the US to vacate Shamsi airbase, believed to be a hub for CIA-operated drones, and Gilani ordered a parliamentary review of ties with the US.

Though the Parliamentary Committee on National Security presented 40 recommendations for resetting Pakistan-US ties, a joint sitting of parliament was unable to begin debating the proposals due to reservations expressed by the opposition. The parliamentary panel is now reviewing the proposals.

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