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Pak Airspace May Be Closed For US : Gilani

Islamabad, Dec 12 : Pakistan may continue blocking NATO supply convoys into Afghanistan for several weeks and would not rule out closing its airspace to the US, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Sunday
pak airspace may be closed for us gilani - India...
India TV News Desk December 12, 2011 10:25 IST

Islamabad, Dec 12 : Pakistan may continue blocking NATO supply convoys into Afghanistan for several weeks and would not rule out closing its airspace to the US, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Sunday .

Gilani said there was a “credibility gap” between Pakistan and the US, and the two sides need to develop greater trust.

He made the remarks during an interview with BBC.  Pakistan stopped NATO convoys and asked the US to vacate Shamsi airbase, reportedly used by CIA-operated drones, to protest a NATO air strike which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month.

Gilani said the NATO convoys may be blocked for several weeks. He refused to rule out closing Pakistan's airspace to the US.

Asked if he believed NATO attacks had been deliberate and pre-planned, Gilani replied: “Apparently so”. 

Pakistan and the US needed to trust each other better, he said. “Yes, there is a credibility gap, we are working together and still we don't trust each other,” he said.  “I think we have to improve our relationship, so that for the better results, we should have more confidence in each other,” Gilani said.

Meeting the deadline set by Pakistan after the NATO air strike, the US today vacated Shamsi airbase.  NATO has apologised for the air strike, calling the attack a “tragic unintended incident”. 

The air strike on November 26 marked a fresh low in relations between Washington and Islamabad, which were already strained by the killing of two men by CIA contractor Raymond Davis and the US military raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abottabad in May.

NATO forces in Afghanistan rely on overland supply routes from the Pakistani port of Karachi for almost half their supplies.

Hundreds of container trucks and oil tankers have been parked near border crossings since Pakistan closed the supply routes. Gilani also said he would investigate the blocking of BBC World News by Pakistani cable operators.

The operators have said the move was a response to the BBC documentary ‘Secret Pakistan', which alleged the Inter-Services Intelligence agency was backing and training several militant groups, including the Afghan Taliban. 

A BBC spokesperson said: “We welcome the Prime Minister's support of free speech and promise to investigate this ban.

We call on the government to carry out an investigation rapidly and for BBC services to be restored in Pakistan.”

 

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