WASHINGTON, May 16: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has sent an unconditional invitation to President Asif Ali Zardari and his participation in the Chicago summit will help promote Pakistan’s key interests, says Ambassador Sherry Rehman.

Ambassador Rehman, who attended two weeks of intense talks between the US and Pakistan in Islamabad before returning to Washington last week, said the Nato summit would be an important milestone in the resolution of a dispute in which Pakistan has high stakes.

The May 20-21 summit will be the biggest meeting Nato has ever organised, with around 60 countries and organisations represented, and will consider various options for ending the Afghan war.

Ms Rehman rejected the suggestion that Pakistan had given up its demand for an apology over the Salala incident in return for an invitation to Chicago.

“Pakistan will continue to press for an apology, and work for best outcomes for our nation,” she said. “Pakistan has made its point, and we will continue to do so. The military will look to fresh border ground rules with Nato and Isaf so incidents like Salala don’t recur.”

Ambassador Rehman said that Pakistan was constructively engaged with the Americans to resolve the dispute over Nato supply routes to Afghanistan and was looking forward to a positive outcome.

The issue, she noted, required “long overdue political buy in” as well as exhaustive negotiations. “Pakistan wants to lay the foundation of an engagement that is durable, yet protects our interests as well as addresses Nato and Afghanistan’s concerns.”

Asked if President Zardari would attend the Nato summit in Chicago, the ambassador said: “An unconditional invitation has been extended to President to participate in Chicago. We welcome the invitation and now that the DCC has endorsed, I look forward to this high-level visit.”

She hoped that the summit would reach decisions which were pragmatic, practicable, and protect Pakistan’s interests as well as create a viable regional framework.

Ambassador Rehman rejected the suggestion that there was a disconnect between the civilian and military leaderships over the reopening of Nato supply lines. “To the contrary, the civil and military leaderships have acted in complete lockstep on this matter, consulting with each other repeatedly on key issues,” she said.

She noted that the Pakistan-US relationship, despite its challenges, was a very important one but it was also a complex relationship which would “profit from the sunlight of transparency, stability and realistic expectations on both sides”.

Opinion

Editorial

Wise counsel
Updated 04 Jul, 2022

Wise counsel

Fuelling the fires of communalism for petty political gains is dangerous and can have a long-lasting impact on India’s stability.
Hazardous waste
04 Jul, 2022

Hazardous waste

GIVEN we have not yet developed streamlined systems for managing locally produced hazardous waste, we are inviting...
Mob ‘justice’
04 Jul, 2022

Mob ‘justice’

OVER the past few days, a string of deadly incidents has been reported from Karachi in which enraged mobs have...
Skyrocketing prices
Updated 03 Jul, 2022

Skyrocketing prices

Some sellers are seeking to take advantage of the prevailing disorder by creating artificial shortages or jacking up prices.
Flooding alert
03 Jul, 2022

Flooding alert

THE Gilgit-Baltistan government has issued an alert about the possible flooding of areas along river banks and...
Assaulting journalists
03 Jul, 2022

Assaulting journalists

ANOTHER day, another citizen roughed up for speaking his mind. The assault on veteran journalist Ayaz Amir by...