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Pak diplomats want written US apology over NATO attack before reopening Afghan supplies

Islamabad, Wed, 14 Dec 2011 ANI

Islamabad, Dec 14 (ANI): Pakistani diplomats serving in about 15 countries have suggested that NATO supplies to Afghanistan should remain blocked till the US officially releases a written apology and gives security assurances over the recent attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.


The diplomats led at the Envoys Conference by Pakistan's ambassador-designate to the US Sherry Rehman, reportedly took three major decisions.


These include a "restricted" or "curtailed" response in the backdrop of prevailing hostility with the US, resumption of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) supplies only after receiving adequate assurances, and assuring harmony of interests between political, military and diplomatic leadership, The Nation reports.


Recommending a discarding of old rules of the game governing Pak-US relationship, particularly those concerning the war on terror, the diplomats advised the setting up of an official framework for giving land route to the Afghanistan-bound NATO containers and oil tankers, only after the fulfilment of certain conditions set forth by Pakistan after last month's attack.


This entailed monitoring the containers, tankers movement through a formal and well-enforced agreement, imposition of heavy taxes, including customs, levies and import duties on NATO consignments and introduction of strict criteria for customs clearance once these shipments land at Karachi Port via the sea route from Dubai.


The related proposed measures include continuing with the blockade of NATO supplies till an official apology, following written assurances, is rendered by the US and NATO.


"It's important that Pakistan's pursuit of strategic endeavours is not to collide at any point at political, diplomatic and military levels. National consensus is the key to reflecting a nationalistic agenda in our foreign policy," an Additional Secretary at Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.


An ambassador appointed in an Eastern European state said: "We don't want to sabotage our ties with the US but we are not ready to back off until and unless given appropriate assurances. A curtailed, restricted or calculated response, as you may call it, is what we've suggested. Pakistan does not want the tensions to touch the boiling point but we cling tight to our stance." (ANI)


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