Islamabad seeks to restore ties with US
President Zardari vowes to engage in meaningful relations with the US. REUTERS photoPakistan’s president vowed to engage “meaningfully” with the Unites States in comments ahead of a parliamentary session next week tasked with resetting the troubled relationship between the countries.
“We seek to engage meaningfully with the U.S. on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect,” Asif Ali Zardari said on March 17 in a televised address to parliament, describing the relationship as “multi-dimensional and important.” The joint session of Pakistan’s parliament is tasked with reviewing and formally resetting the difficult ties with the U.S. following what Zardari described as a “challenging year” in 2011, Agence France-Presse reported.
The process is considered key to getting relations onto a more solid footing after U.S. air strikes last November killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and brought the relationship to its lowest point in years. The review is seen as a precursor to Pakistan reopening its Afghan land border to NATO convoys, which have been sealed since November 26, and a resumption of high-level American diplomatic visits. We are looking forward to your recommendations for re-engaging with the United States,” Zardari told parliament.
Meanwhile, at least 51 militants and four soldiers have been killed in air strikes and clashes with Pakistani security forces in the restive northwest over the past week, officials said yesterday.