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Consultations today on ties with US

November 04, 2013

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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif  will meet Gen Kayani at a reception to be hosted by the Bahawalpur corps commander in Bahawalpur.  — File Photo by AP
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will meet Gen Kayani at a reception to be hosted by the Bahawalpur corps commander in Bahawalpur. — File Photo by AP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is to review its relationship with the United States, the prime minister’s office said on Sunday, following the killing of Taliban leader Hakeemullah Mehsud in a US drone strike.

But a top-level meeting to examine relations scheduled for Sunday was postponed at the last minute without explanation.

Hakeemullah Mehsud, who had a $5 million US bounty on his head, was killed on Friday in the militant stronghold of North Waziristan, near the Afghan border.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s office said he would chair a meeting on the consequences for ties with Washington. There was no indication when it might take place.

The prime minister, who arrived in Lahore on Sunday after a three-day visit to the UK, will meet Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Monday and attend a briefing at the Foreign Office.

He will meet Gen Kayani at a reception to be hosted by the Bahawalpur corps commander in Bahawalpur, according to sources. The prime minister and the army chief will be given a briefing on national security affairs.

Then Mr Sharif will go to Islamabad where the Foreign Office has arranged the briefing.

Another source said that the prime minister was expected to make a policy statement on the situation arising out of the killing of Hakeemullah Mehsud in the National Assembly on Monday.

A statement issued on behalf of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on late Sunday evening termed the attack a violation of the guarantee given by a high US official that drone attacks would not take place while Pakistan was holding peace talks with the militants.

Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak told a public meeting in Mansehra that a session of the provincial assembly had been summoned on Monday in which a resolution calling for the blockade of Nato supplies would be adopted.

He said that before the session they would take into confidence leaders of other political parties represented in the assembly. “People of the province want Nato supply lines to be cut off and we will come up to their expectations,” he said.

The KP government would implement the resolution, the chief minister said.

A single drone strike had sabotaged the proposed talks needed to end bloodshed in tribal areas and KP, he said.

The Sindh Assembly is also likely to discuss the drone attack and the killing of Hakeemullah Mehsud on Monday.