Pakistan on Wednesday hinted at the possibility of participating in the coming Bonn Conference on Afghanistan but ruled out any high-level representation on the ground that Afghan soil had been used by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to attack the country in what the Army calls a “deliberate” act of aggression.
Agreeing to consider German Chancellor Angela Merkel's repeated requests for Islamabad's participation, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said he would refer the suggestion of having Pakistan's Ambassador in Germany attend the deliberations to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security.
Ms. Merkel called Mr. Gilani to impress upon him the importance of Pakistan's participation at the meeting to make it meaningful. As Mr. Gilani was unwilling to budge on high-level participation, she suggested the Ambassador be permitted to represent Pakistan so that its seat at the table was not left vacant.
In view of bilateral relations and the fact that the German Foreign Minister was among the first to personally call his Pakistani counterpart to express solidarity with Pakistan and condole the death of 24 Pakistan Army soldiers in the NATO firing at Pakistani outposts on Saturday morning, Mr. Gilani agreed to refer the request to the Parliamentary Committee.
Meanwhile, the formal communication to the U.S. asking it to vacate the Shamsi airbase has been sent with December 11 set as the deadline.
Pakistan has released footage of two posts which came under fire from helicopters of the coalition forces in Afghanistan and wanted to know where the NATO casualties were in case there was firing from the Pakistani side.