Review aimed for lasting partnership: Pak FM

Islamabad: Pakistan`s moves for a review of re-engagement with the US is aimed at building a partnership that has the ownership of the country`s people and shared interests of the two nations, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said. She said the parliamentary review of the ties, which began yesterday at a joint session, "is about… building a type of partnership which is lasting, which has the ownership of the people of Pakistan, and of course the parliament of Pakistan".

This partnership should be able to "achieve results which are considered to be in the joint interest of both Pakistan and the US and… the NATO members which are operating in Afghanistan", she said in an interview with MSNBC. Members of the Senate and National Assembly are debating 40 recommendations framed by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security that are aimed at revamping relations with the US and Pakistan?s overall foreign policy.

The recommendations include seeking a full apology from the US for the cross-border NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November, levying a tax on US and NATO supplies that pass through Pakistan on the way to Afghanistan, an end to CIA drone strikes in Pakistan and a civil nuclear deal for Pakistan on the lines of the one concluded by India and the US. Khar said Pakistan`s demands should not be characterised as "grievances". She questioned how the US would have reacted if American soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops in an incident of friendly fire.