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Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: With the parliamentary re-evaluation of the relationship with the US nearing completion, Pakistan has indicated that it was set to resume full spectrum of bilateral ties.

“We are looking forward to re-engaging with the US on issues of mutual interest and importance,” Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said on Thursday at the weekly media briefing.

The desire to re-engage, Mr Basit noted, was mutual as both sides were interested in getting past the last November border incident in which 24 Pakistani soldiers lost their lives.

The Nato attacks had led to review of terms of engagement with the US.

During the review process, Islamabad refused to welcome visiting US officials -- the latest being the cancelled trip of Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman.

Mr Basit’s comments come after Parliamentary Committee on National Security completed the review of the relations with Washington.

The 35 recommendations submitted by the parliamentary body for ratification by a joint sitting of the parliament have agreed to renew the “important” relationship based on “mutual respect and mutual interest.”

The recommendations are likely to sail through the parliament because of the bi-partisan nature of PCNS, which has drafted them.

The recommendations would set the parameters for the complicated relationship between the two allies in war on terror.

Mr Basit, speaking about the PCNS recommendations, said: “We’ll lead to a positive outcome for both sides (Pakistan and the US.)

He further said that Pakistan’s desire was to have a more stable relationship that was not accident prone.

“We want relationship that is free from ups and downs of a roller coaster ride.”

The most significant development expected as a result of the resumption of ties is the restoration of the suspended Nato supply route.

Though, Mr Basit twice said at the briefing that he was unaware about any proposal to reopen the blocked route, diplomatic sources have separately indicated that PCNS had paved the way for the government to reopen the Nato supply route after getting assurances from the US that there will be no repeat of the 26/11 attacks on Pakistani border posts by coalition forces in Afghanistan.

The government may introduce new conditions, including a tax on the Nato cargo transported through Pakistan, before announcing the resumption of the flow of supplies through its territory.

The government had reacted to the November 26 border incident by closing down the crucial supply route and asking the US to vacate the Shamsi airbase, which was once used for drone attacks. The airbase was vacated within the deadline given by the government.

During the closure of the supply route that is now into tenth week, tens of thousands of containers with supplies for coalition forces in Afghanistan have piled up at the Karachi port. US vessels again started arriving at the port with more supplies earlier this month following a secret meeting in Qatar between ISI Chief Lt Gen Shuja Pasha and US officials.


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