Pakistan rejects Afghan plea to attend Bonn conference
KABUL (PAN): Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday rejected a personal appeal from the Afghan president to mull over Islamabad's decision to boycott the Bonn conference on Afghanistan’s future over the NATO airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops.
Pakistan decided on Tuesday in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Gilani not to attend the important meeting in Germany in protest against an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) attack on Pakistani security posts in the lawless Mohmand tribal region near Afghanistan border, killing 24 soldiers and injuring more than a dozen others.
The incident dealt a major blow to the already strained relations between Islamabad and Washington. Pakistan lodged a strong protest with the US and NATO headquarters in Brussels over the "unprovoked" attack.
Gilani's remarks on Wednesday showed how the weekend raid has poisoned ties not only between Pakistan and the US, but also between Islamabad and Kabul.
Gilani said Afghan President Hamid Karzai called him late Tuesday to ask him to attend the Dec. 5 meeting in Bonn, aimed at stabilizing Afghanistan.
The Pakistani leader said NATO forces used Afghan territory to launch the airstrikes, so Islamabad would not attend in protest.
NATO and the US have expressed their sympathies for the Pakistani deaths and say they are investigating the incident.
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