WASHINGTON, April 13 : The United States seeks an “enduring, strategic and more clearly defined” relationship with Pakistan, the State Department said following the Parliament’s approval of foreign policy guidelines that emphasize respect for Pakistani sovereignty in Islamabad-Washington engagement.
State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland also said in a statement that Washington looks forward to continuing to engage with Islamabad on the two countries’ shared interests.
“We seek a relationship with Pakistan that is enduring, strategic, and more clearly defined. We look forward to discussing these policy recommendations with the Government of Pakistan and continuing to engage with it on our shared interests,” the spokesperson said.
The U.S. comments came as more than 400 parliamentarians in Islamabad unanimously approved the National Security Committee‘s recommendations on the way forward in Pakistan-U.S. relations late Thursday, signaling a new phase in the relationship that was seriously undermined by November 26, 2011 NATO airstrikes on Pakistani border posts, claiming lives of 24 Pakistani soldiers.
After the incident – which took place on the heels of a spate of other Afghan war-related controversies including drone strikes in tribal areas, discovery of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and subsequent U.S. raid on his hideout in Abbottabad – Islamabad closed key Pakistani routes that for ten years supplied U.S. and NATO forces with essential non-lethal items to sustain their mission in landlocked Afghanistan. The Parliament’s new foreign policy guidelines for Islamabad categorically demand an end to drone strikes.
The State Department statement said the U.S. has seen that the Pakistani parliament has approved its “Guidelines for Revised Terms of Engagement with USA/NATO/ISAF and General Foreign Policy.”
“We respect the seriousness with which parliament’s review of U.S.-Pakistan relations has been conducted,” the spokesperson added.
Source: MGCT, State Department, Pakistan Parliament, The Washington Post. By Ali Imran
2-Graphic by The Washington Post
Timeline: The two countries are allies but their relationship has been plagued by mistrust over the last 50 years.
3-State Department: Pakistan Parliamentary Review; Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland, Office of the Spokesperson; Washington, DC,