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Pakistani PM to hold meeting on US ties

Updated: 2013-11-03 17:16
( Xinhua)

ISLAMABAD - Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will preside over an important meeting later on Sunday to discuss relationship with the United States following the drone strike which killed Taliban Chief Hakimullah Mehsud, officials said.

Pakistani officials claimed the US has scuttled the government peace dialogue plan with the Taliban.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said meetings of the Federal Cabinet and Cabinet Committee on National Security would be convened in the next few days to review the entire perspective of Pakistan-US relations and cooperation.

Prime Minister Sharif, who was abroad when the American spy aircraft rained missiles into the North Waziristan tribal region on Friday, and killed the Taliban chief and several other commanders, who had been discussing strategy for talks with the government.

The government had constituted a three-member delegation of top religious scholars to proceed to the Waziristan tribal area on Saturday to meet the Taliban leaders and discuss the agenda and a possible venue for the peace talks.

The visit was canceled after the US attack that is being widely condemned in Pakistan and the government and opposition parties view Americans derailed the rare peace initiative.

Prime Minister Sharif stated in London on Thursday that peace talks with the Taliban had been started and he will speed up the process on his return to the country.

Officials said the prime minister returned home late Saturday and will discuss the post-US attack situation with his close aides and ministers.

Opposition parties are mounting pressure on the government to cut the supply line for the US-led NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan as a protest against the latest strike that has caused serious setback to the process of peace talks with Taliban.

A senior political leader, Imran Khan, whose Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party rules the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has warned the provincial government can stop NATO supplies from Monday. The province is the major supply route for NATO forces in Afghanistan.

A Taliban spokesman, Azam Tariq, said Saturday the militants cannot hold talks when their leaders are being killed. He also warned of revenge attacks.

Officials say Pakistan's ambassadors in the capital of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council would brief the host governments on the negative consequences of the drone attack to the peace process.