Pakistan wants to improve relations with US: PM

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has said that Pakistan would like to improve its relations with the United States and rebuild an anti-terror alliance.

In an interview with China Daily, during his recent visit to China which was published today, Prime Minister Gilani reiterated his desire to rebuild an anti-terror alliance with the United States, but said he would let parliament decide on this issue.

“We know the importance of the United States and we want to work with the United States, but on a (basis of) mutual respect and mutual interests,” said Gilani.

Referring to the discussion on foreign policy in the parliament, the Prime Minister said, “I am certain the parliament will bring about new rules of engagement with the United States as well as with NATO.”

Referring to Salala check post incident, the Prime Minister said such unilateral action has naturally caused resentment from Pakistani people.

He said, “Our concerns of sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected,”

Pak-US relationship worsened when aircraft from NATO’s Afghanistan force attacked two Pakistan border posts and killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November at Salala.

Since then the Pakistani side has brought in a parliamentary review to draw up recommendations on how to proceed on ties with Washington.

It also shut off ground supply lines to the US-led NATO mission in land-locked Afghanistan.

“We had good relations with the United States in the last 60 years,” Gilani said, noting there are lots of ups and downs because of various kinds of issues.

He said he told President Obama, during his meeting in South Korea, that US drone strikes targeting Al-Qaida and Taliban militants were counterproductive.

“We left parliament to apply its collective wisdom to decide,” he said.

Regarding opening of NATO routes, the Prime Minister said, the decision will be made only after evolving consensus among political parties.

Source: APP