U.S. warns Pak of ‘multiple repercussions’ if NATO supply routes are not re-opened

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May 7, 2012

Islamabad – Washington has now threatened Islamabad with ‘multiple repercussions’, if the six-month-long blockade of NATO supplies is not lifted, Pakistani officials have said.

May 7, 2012

Islamabad – Washington has now threatened Islamabad with ‘multiple repercussions’, if the six-month-long blockade of NATO supplies is not lifted, Pakistani officials have said.

According to sources, the implications include a halt in U.S. assistance for the country’s fragile economy and squeezing the political space available to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party by relying on other political groups.

“During the meetings Marc Grossman recently had with Pakistani officials, it was obvious that the U.S. was running out of patience,” a Pakistani official told The Express Tribune.

“A message has been conveyed at the highest level that if the government cannot take a decision regarding NATO supplies, the U.S. will rely on Nawaz Sharif,” he added. His claim, however, could not be independently verified.

The official added that the Obama administration was increasingly concerned over the delay in the reopening of the vital NATO supply routes for foreign forces stationed in Afghanistan.

Last month, the country’s parliament announced new terms of engagement that seek an unconditional apology from the U.S. over the Salala incident.

Initially, Washington agreed to accept the demand but due to a delay in the passage of the new recommendations, coupled with domestic compulsions of President Barack Obama, the U.S. is now reluctant to take such a step.

A PPP lawmaker acknowledged that the government was in a fix on how to move forward after the U.S. hardened its stance.

“There is now a growing realization that it was a mistake to ask the parliament to formulate new foreign policy guidelines,” said the lawmaker.

Pakistan Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar also hinted at mounting pressure on the government to reopen the supply routes. He said Pakistan could face economic sanctions if it did not unplug the routes.

The U.S. Embassy however, denied Washington conveying any threats to Islamabad.

“The UN wants NATO supplies to reopen, the U.S. wants NATO supplies to reopen, but that should not be characterized as a threat,” said the Embassy spokesperson.


Courtesy: ANI

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