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US abusing ties with Pakistan, says Rabbani

Pakistan’s foreign minister Hina Rabbani signalled a tough-talking approach ahead of a British-brokered meeting with US secretary of state Hilary Clinton, blaming the US for crossing what she described as the “red lines of relationships.”

world Updated: Feb 22, 2012 23:57 IST
Dipankar De Sarkar

Pakistan’s foreign minister Hina Rabbani signalled a tough-talking approach ahead of a British-brokered meeting with US secretary of state Hilary Clinton, blaming the US for crossing what she described as the “red lines of relationships.”

Rabbani, who is due to meet Clinton in London on the sidelines of an international conference on Somalia Thursday, said US military action inside Pakistani territory on May 2, killing 24 Pakistani soldiers, meant the relationship needed to be “reconsidered.”

Pakistan’s parliament was looking at setting down the preconditions for Pakistan’s “re-engagement” with the US,

she added.

Ties between the two nations plummeted dramatically last year following the discovery of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden hiding in Abbottabad and his subsequent assassination by US commandoes. An angry Washington, which wants Islamabad to admit to sheltering bin Laden, has withheld £800m worth of aid to the Pakistani military.

There is also uncertainty in Washington over who is really calling the shots in Islamabad —whether it is the military-intelligence apparatus or the government headed by President Asif Ali Zardari.


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