Pakistan may allow US military trainers: US media (Lead)

January 21st, 2012 - 7:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, Jan 21 (IANS) Pakistan may invite US military trainers back “as early as April or May” but it has ruled out allowing US drones into the country again, Geo News reported citing US media.

Relations between the two countries have been at an all-time low since 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in a NATO aerial attack last November.

The Pakistan parliament, the report said, is reviewing the nature of its relationship with the US, and the politicians are expected Jan 30 to deliver a list of conditions for cooperation in the fight against terror to resume.

The stipulations will include no covert CIA or military operations on the ground in Pakistan and no unauthorised incursions into its airspace, it added.

Drones, which are the biggest weapon the US has against militants hiding in the tribal belt along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, “can never return”, a senior Pakistani official told the Fox News channel.

“They will never be allowed back, at Shamsi (airbase) or anywhere else,” the official added. In return, Pakistan would allow back US military trainers, including special forces teams, and a resumption of close cooperation with the US in targeting militants.

It would also reopen the Torkham and Chaman border crossings into Afghanistan, which have been closed to NATO supply convoys since the Nov 24 attack.

Associated Press of Pakistan Jan 13 reported that the US had resumed drone attacks. In the latest drone strike last Tuesday night, four suspected militants were killed in North Waziristan.

Foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit said these attacks also raised the question of violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and could not be condoned.

On Thursday, Pakistan’s Foreign Office denied reports of reopening the NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.

Pakistan Wednesday had declined to host US Special Envoy Marc Grossman, touring the region for consultations with the US allies about talks with the Afghan Taliban, until a parliamentary review of bilateral relations was completed.

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