ISLAMABAD (MCT) — The Pakistani parliament on Thursday approved guidelines that will frame a reset of the country’s relations with the United States, paving the way for an end to a nearly five-month disruption in ties that began when errant U.S. airstrikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border.
The guidelines include a call for a halt in U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani territory, but put no mechanism in place to enforce such a ban.
Though Pakistan has proved to be an extremely difficult partner in the war on terrorism, the U.S. continues to seek its cooperation in pursuing al-Qaida-linked militants who have found sanctuary in the country’s northwest, and in facilitating talks between Afghan officials and the Afghan Taliban leadership.
The Nov. 26 attack, which Pakistan insisted was unprovoked and deliberate, was just one of a series of events last year that deeply angered Pakistanis.
The U.S. commando raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in the military city of Abbottabad in May also incensed Pakistani military and civilian leaders because they were not informed of it in advance.
The Pakistani government also decided to embark on a wholesale review of relations with the U.S., establishing a parliamentary committee charged with drafting guidelines for a revamped partnership with Washington.
The U.S. has hailed the drone campaign as being extremely effective in eroding the capabilities of al-Qaida and other militant groups in the tribal areas along the Afghan border. While the frequency of drone strikes has dropped in recent months, Washington is unlikely to heed the call to abandon the tactic altogether.