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Reopening NATO routes in Pakistan's interest: PM

Pakistan,Diplomacy,Indo-Pak/Pakistan,Defence/Security, Thu, 05 Jul 2012 IANS

Islamabad, July 5 (IANS) The decision to reopen the routes for passage of NATO supplies to Afghanistan via Pakistan was taken in the best interests of the country following the recommendation of parliament, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said Thursday.

Pakistan wanted to facilitate the process in the interest of regional peace and stability as the drawdown of the NATO-ISAF forces from Afghanistan gets underway, Xinhua reported citing a statement from the prime minister's office.

Ashraf told leaders of the ruling coalition government that peace and stability in Afghanistan was closely linked to that in Pakistan, the statement said.

The prime minister said Pakistan was a partner of the international community, and was playing a leading role against forces of terrorism.

He said the prolonged deadlock over the issue of NATO supplies could have hurt the country's relations with NATO countries, which included "friendly countries" and "brotherly Muslim countries".

Meanwhile, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), supported the government's decision to open the NATO supply routes.

He said no country could afford international diplomatic isolation, and that the diplomatic impasse over the issue could have created problems for Pakistan at the UN.

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