South Asia News
Pakistan in first talks with NATO officials after deadly airstrikes
Feb 8, 2012, 13:04 GMT
Islamabad - Pakistan said that its senior military officials were meeting a group of NATO and Afghan commanders Wednesday, for the first face-to-face talks since closing its border over an attack that killed 24 servicemen last year.
The talks were being held at the Border Coordination Center in Torkham, a small border town in north-western Pakistan which serves as a gateway for the bulk of NATO supplies to western troops in Afghanistan.
'The meeting is part of a tripartite engagement to discuss and improve various coordination measures on the Pak-Afghan border,' said military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas.
He said that Major General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed, who is in charge of all combat operations, would represent the Pakistani army in the talks.
Pakistan suspended all cooperation with NATO and Afghan forces after the deadly November 24 airstrikes at a border outpost in the Mohmand tribal district, and rejected a US inquiry that partially held Pakistan responsible for the tragedy.
It blocked supplies for NATO forces and asked the US to vacate an airfield in south-western Pakistan which had reportedly been used to carry out drone attacks against militants in Pakistan's lawless tribal region.
The meeting comes after reports of a thaw in ties with the United States, following an announcement of talks with the Taliban, who are to open a political office in Qatar.
Pakistani officials have also said that they will lift the ban on NATO supplies in coming weeks, after parliament approved new guidelines for relations with the US.
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