Monday, December 12, 2011

Pakistan to sustain NATO convoy ban

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani speaks during a news conference in Kabul on April 16, 2011.

Source: Press TV

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that Islamabad will continue its blocking of NATO convoys supplying goods to US-led foreign forces in neighboring Afghanistan.

Gilani also refused, in a BBC interview published Sunday, to rule out the closing of Pakistan's airspace to all US flights.

The US military and other NATO member countries with fighting forces in Afghanistan rely heavily on the Pakistani supply route into the landlocked country, even more so now than previously with Taliban attacks on the rise.

Pakistan decided to halt the supply convoys destined for US-led foreign soldiers occupying Afghanistan in response to deadly US-led NATO airstrikes on November 26 that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at two checkpoints on the Afghan border.

During the interview, the Pakistani prime minister also dismissed reports claiming that the country's ailing President Asif Ali Zardari has suffered a stroke and that the army planned to oust him.

However, he went on to add that Zardari will remain in a Dubai hospital in the United Arab Emirates for two more weeks.

According to some reports, the 56-year-old president last week suffered a temporary ischemic attack, which can produce stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage to the brain.

“Zardari was making a rapid improvement,” Gilani emphasized.

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