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Gilani asks US to respect Pakistan's 'red lines'

17 December, 2011

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Friday asked the United States to respect Pakistan's redlines, its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Gilani also sought a guarantee from the US for not transgressing Pakistan's frontiers in the future as happened in the case of NATO strike last month, when US ambassador in Pakistan Cameron Munter called on him at the Prime Minister's House.

The prime minister said that Pakistan wanted to work with the United States to defeat the common enemy, which was not only the enemy of Pakistan and the United States but also of the entire civilised world.

The prime minister said that it was his primary responsibility to safeguard Pakistan's dignity and honour, adding that respect for sovereignty and non-repeat of unilateral action were the very minimum that Pakistan expected. No war can be fought without the support of the people, said the PM.

The US ambassador, on this occasion, said that the common enemy must be defeated for which both countries needed to focus and cooperate with each other with commitment and single-mindedness. The convergence of interests between the two countries against the enemy provided the realistic basis and common ground to continue to collaborate and save the world from the curse of extremism and terrorism, he stated.

Moreover, While acknowledging Pakistan's concerns following the loss of 24 lives in November 26 NATO strikes on Mohmand border posts, a senior Obama adminitration official pledged a "transparent and credible" investigation into the incident to determine exactly what happened.

"We have been in constant and intense dialogue with our Pakistani counterparts. We understand the concern. Frankly, there is plenty of concern on the American side as well," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said at the daily briefing.

The spokesperson was asked if Washington understood the profound sense of anger in Pakistan over the attacks. The US State Department has expressed confidence that the passage of a legislation in Congress - requiring the Obama administration's certification on continued assistance for Pakistan - would not affect the continuation of US security and civilian assistance for Pakistan, which remains key to Afghan war success.

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