Pakistan's parliament has unanimously approved new guidelines for the country's engagement with the US, a decision that could pave the way for the reopening of supply lines to Nato troops in neighbouring Afghanistan.
The guidelines allow for the blockade on US and Nato supplies to be lifted but also call for an immediate end to American drone strikes against militants on Pakistani soil. But lawmakers did not make a halt in the CIA-led missile attacks a prerequisite to reopening the supply lines as some lawmakers had been demanding.The government and the army will use the recommendations as the basis for re-engaging with Washington.
Ties between the US and Pakistan all but collapsed in November after US airstrikes inadvertently killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border after which Islamabad blocked the supply lines in protest.
The US State Department expressed respect for the Pakistani parliament s decision. "We respect the seriousness with which parliament's review of US-Pakistan relations has been conducted," said state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
The drones are a source of popular outrage in the country and have fuelled anti-US sentiment although Pakistan's powerful army has tacitly aided the missile attacks in the past.