ISLAMABAD: A high-level meeting held in the Presidency on Wednesday evening reviewed Pakistan-US relations against the backdrop of the situation in Balochistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the meeting attended by President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani had taken stock of the Pak-US relations. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman were present.
According to sources in the Presidency, the meeting discussed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s warning that Pakistan could face American sanctions if it went ahead with the proposed gas pipeline project with Iran. The project was ‘inexplicable’ and sanctions would further ‘undermine’ Pakistan’s ‘already shaky’ economy, she said.
President Zardari assured his Iranian counterpart earlier this month that Pakistan would continue with the project and that its relations with Iran would not be undermined by any international pressure.
The meeting at the presidency took place soon after the foreign minister’s return from the United Kingdom where she had met Ms Clinton. Ms Khar briefed the meeting on her interaction with the US secretary on the sidelines of an international conference.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Ms Khar said Pakistan and the US had agreed that their relations must be based on mutual respect and common interests.
The relations have been buffeted by several crises since last year, including the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad and Pakistani troops in Salala checkpost attack.