Pak, US agree ties must be based on mutual respect: Khar

Pak, US agree ties must be based on mutual respect: Khar

Pakistan and the US, whose ties have been buffeted by several crises since last year, have agreed that their relations must be based on mutual respect and pursuing common interests, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said today.

Khar made the remarks during a meeting with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani this morning, according to an official statement from the Premier's office.

She briefed Gilani on her recent visit to Britain, where she also met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the margins of an international conference.

The Foreign Minister said she and Clinton had "agreed that relations between Pakistan and the US were important and must be based on mutual respect."

The two countries should also "be seen to pursue mutual interest at the same level," Khar said.

Pakistan-US relations have been buffeted by several crises since last year, including the gunning down of two Pakistani men by a CIA contractor in Lahore, the killing of Osama bin Laden by American commandos in Abbottabad and a cross-border NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

Gilani ordered a Parliamentary review of bilateral relations and new "terms of engagement" for the US will be unveiled after a joint session of the two houses of Parliament that is likely to be held in March.

Khar told the Premier she had briefed Clinton "on the ongoing Parliamentary process to revisit terms of engagements with the US."

She further said she had extensive interactions with her British counterpart William Hague and other British ministers.

Khar had visited Britain for parlays under the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue between the two countries.

Khar said Britain has invited Gilani to undertake a bilateral visit during the first half of the year.

She also briefed the Premier on her visit last week to the United Arab Emirates to co-chair a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Commission with her UAE counterpart.

Pakistan's role in pursuing regional peace and security was "highly appreciated" at this meeting, she said.