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'US ready to re-engage with Pak on new terms but unlikely to revisit drone campaign'

Washington, Fri, 13 Apr 2012 ANI

Washington, Apr 13(ANI): The United States is ready to discuss the new framework for improving ties with Pakistan, but is unlikely to revisit its CIA-led drone campaign, American officials have said.

"The US can accommodate Pakistan's concerns by reviewing the mechanism under which the drones operate but it is not possible at this stage that the entire campaign is brought to a halt," The Express Tribune quoted an American diplomat, as saying on the condition of anonymity.

His comments came after Pakistan's Parliament unanimously approved new guidelines for reviewing ties with the United States.

The US considers the CIA-led drone campaign in the tribal areas of Pakistan as a vital tool to target al Qaeda and its affiliates.

But the policy has stoked anti-American sentiments in Pakistan and the latter's civilian leadership views it counter-productive to its anti-terror efforts.

Meanwhile, the US has conveyed a neutral stance to the review.

"We have seen that the joint session of the Pakistani parliament has approved the final recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security. We respect the seriousness with which this review has been conducted," a US embassy spokesperson Mark Stroh said.

He said the US wants to re- engage with Pakistan based on new terms that seek to re- define their ties.

"We look forward to discussing these policy recommendations with the Government of Pakistan," he added.

An American diplomat, requesting anonymity, also said that the US is likely to offer a public apology over the November 26 NATO airstrike that killed at least two dozen soldiers. (ANI)

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