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NATO asked to answer Pakistan's questions on attack

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Dec 13, IRNA -- Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani Tuesday asked NATO to answer ?disturbing questions’ about its last month airstrikes on two Pakistani border posts, which had killed 24 soldiers.

NATO is still investigating the November 26 strikes on Pakistan’s Mohmand tribal region, bordering Afghanistan.

“We expect the US/NATO/ISAF inquiry that is being undertaken to come out clearly with the facts and provide answers to the disturbing questions that our own investigations have raised,” Prime Minister Gilani told Envoys’ Conference in Islamabad, called to review relationship with the U.S. and NATO in the wake of the attack.

Gilani said that the aerial attacks on Pakistan’s Army border posts constituted a ?huge set-back to the prospects of much-needed cooperation between all important stakeholders’.

“Our cooperation with US/NATO/ISAF was based on respect for Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Under no circumstances, could we accept flagrant transgression of our territorial frontiers,” the Prime Minister said.

“This remains our base line and there can be no compromise on sovereignty, dignity and national honour,” Gilani said, adding that the National Security Committee of the Parliament has been mandated to undertake a detailed study of the attacks and to make recommendations on the terms of our cooperation with US/NATO/ISAF. “These will be considered by the Joint Sitting of the Parliament”.

He told the envoys that given the seriousness of the issue, the Government has already taken several important decisions to close the NATO/ISAF logistic supply lines, vacate Shamsi Airbase in Balochistan province from the U.S. military and Pakistan boycotted the December 5 Bonn Conference. “A broad-ranging review of our cooperation with US/NATO/ISAF was ordered,” he added.

“We have been compelled to take these steps to safeguard Pakistan’s interests,” the Prime Minister said, adding that, Pakistan, as a responsible state, will do whatever Pakistan can for stability and peace of the region. “But we will never allow anyone to undermine our legitimate interests”.

About Afghanistan, the Prime Minister said there is no doubt that the region is passing through a difficult phase. “The satisfactory resolution of the issues relating to Afghanistan poses daunting challenges not only to the region but to the international community as a whole,” he said.

He stressed that all efforts should be directed to promoting durable stability and peace in Afghanistan and all principal stakeholders must be on the same page. “We have continued to seek clarity and advocated the need for coherence, coordination and cooperation,” Gilani said.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30710467

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