Clinton-Khar Meet, Military Cooperation Continues

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Context

Pakistan has called the talks between Hillary Clinton and Hina Rabbani Khar on Friday as ‘positive and constructive’. Foreign Ministry spokesman, Abdul Basit said that Pakistan is trying to make the relationship with US transparent and predictable. Both parties discussed bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest. The spokesman further said that the progress will be made in the light of parliamentary guidelines, which will be completed by March 2012.

Abdul Basit also commented that America has concerns over Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, “We have our own interests and our own position. As has been stated by our leadership, we will continue with this project and hope to complete it by 2014,” he said.

Commenting on the commencement of drone strikes, he added that Pakistan considers it unlawful and unacceptable and the strikes hamper counter-terrorism efforts and realization of shared objectives. However, Pakistan has not taken any decision in this regard. He said Pakistan will expect high-level diplomatic visits from US after the completion of the parliamentary review.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Navy received two state-of-the-art US-made surveillance aircraft on Tuesday. The P3C is modified with the latest avionics and are designed to improve surveillance in the North Arabian Sea.

A spokesman for the US navy states the planes have been delivered under the foreign military funding program. Pakistan is to receive six P3C aircrafts from the US in three batches. Militants destroyed the first two planes that were received in 2010 in a daring attack on a naval base located in Karachi.

In early February, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) also received the final batch of 18 new F-16C/D Block 52 fighter jest from Lockheed Martin, including F-16s that underwent avionics and structure upgrade in Turkey.