U.S., Pakistan ties fully repaired: Pakistan foreign minister

Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:58am EST
 
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By Katharine Houreld

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan and the United States have restored full military and intelligence ties after relations hit a low point last year, and Islamabad will take further steps to support a nascent Afghan peace process, Pakistan's foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Full cooperation between Islamabad and Washington is critical to U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan before most NATO combat troops withdraw by 2014.

"There was a fairly difficult patch and I think we've moved away from that into a positive trajectory," Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told Reuters in an interview, referring to Pakistani-U.S. relations.

"We are coming closer to developing what could be common positions. We wish to see a responsible transition in Afghanistan."

Relations between the uneasy allies were severely strained by a series of incidents in 2011. The crisis in ties began when a CIA contractor shot dead two men he suspected of trying to rob him in the city of Lahore.

Months later, U.S. special forces killed Osama bin Laden in a raid and kept the Pakistan military in the dark, humiliating the country's most powerful institution.

Then a NATO air raid mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border in November that year.

In response, Pakistan expelled U.S. military trainers and CIA agents and placed limits on the numbers of visas given to U.S. diplomatic personnel.   Continued...

 
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar speaks during an interview with Reuters at the foreign ministry in Islamabad November 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed