News / Asia

    Pakistan Downplays Stalemate With US on Supply Lines

    Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, February 1, 2012.Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, February 1, 2012.
    x
    Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, February 1, 2012.
    Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, February 1, 2012.
    ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is downplaying a breakdown in U.S.-Pakistan negotiations on the re-opening of supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan. 

    Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said Tuesday that the two countries had concluded intensive work on technical issues regarding the supply routes before the U.S. team left Islamabad. And she emphasized that the two sides were still working on resolving their differences.
     
    “We are moving, we are interacting, we are consulting, we are engaged in dialogue with them," Khar said. "We would hope that we can see, we can reach a solution that is acceptable to both the people and both the countries.”

    Khar also repeated her country’s calls for the United States to apologize for a November U.S. missile strike that mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, and an end to U.S. drone strikes on Pakistan territory.
     
    The United States has ignored Islamabad’s protests over the drone strikes and continued to hit militant hideouts in Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas.
     
    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week harshly criticized Pakistan for not doing enough to eradicate militants. Pakistan's military leaders then declined to meet with a senior U.S. defense official. On Monday, the Pentagon recalled several of its negotiators from Islamabad "for a short period of time," but said the dialogue will continue.

    Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s former ambassador to Washington, said she did not see a new setback with the U.S. team’s departure. Instead she said, it is just a continuation of the deadlock that has persisted for the past six months.
     
    "The offer from the U.S. side is on the table, and from the Pakistan side, of course, its demand is also on the table, which is the United States must apologize," Lodhi said. "That is the key to unlocking the whole issue of the NATO supply routes.”

    NATO supplies can either enter and exit Afghanistan through Pakistan, or through Central Asia. But the northern Central Asian route is more expensive.
     
    Security analyst Rustam Shah Mohmand said there could be two explanations for the latest walkout. It could be a tactical withdrawal intended to pressure Pakistan. Or it could be the U.S. team just got frustrated. Either way, the two sides are likely to maintain their ties, said Mohmand.

    "For the time being it serves the interest of both governments, so I don’t think the relationship is going to be paralyzed, the relationship is not going to collapse," he said.

    Many believe Pakistan has a vital role to play in ensuring a peaceful transition in Afghanistan as international troops begin to leave that country.
     
    British Foreign Secretary William Hague, in Pakistan Tuesday, said he was concerned over a possible rift between the United States and Pakistan. He said he looked to both nations to work together successfully.

    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    June 12, 2012 4:36 PM
    Pakistan should keep the border to Afghanistan permanently closed. Next step is stopping US and NATO overflight. Close down access to Pakistani airspace. Any Pakistani that wants to negotiate with America is corrupt and should be jailed.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora