Pakistan agreed to reopen the NATO supply lines to Afghanistan after the US apology; India-Pakistan foreign secretaries level talks held; Prime Minister Manmohan Singh looks forward to visiting Pakistan but stressed that there have to be "suitable outco
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  • According to reports, after months of talk and negotiations, Pakistan has finally agreed to reopen the NATO supply lines to Afghanistan. The recent move comes after the US apologised for killing 24 of its soldiers in November, 2011. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military." However, the Pakistani Taliban has promptly threatened to attack the convoys. The routes are increasingly important as NATO prepares to withdraw all combat troops from Afghanistan in 2014. The row over the supply lines has been hugely damaging to relations between Pakistan and the US. The decision comes after US issued an apology over the killing of Pakistani soldiers last November. 1

    In another development, reports noted that India and Pakistan’s foreign secretaries met on July 4, 2012 to bolster the peace dialogue between the two countries. The round of peace talks between Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and his Indian counterpart Ranjan Mathai in New Delhi comes after the recent arrest of a key suspect in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Last month, India and Pakistan held inconclusive talks on resolving long-standing disputes over the Siachen glacier in the Himalayas and the maritime boundary of Sir Creek. The latest meeting is expected to prepare the agenda for talks between the foreign ministers of the two countries next month. 2

    According to reports, amid disclosures by 26/11 plotter Abu Jundal linking Pakistani state actors to the Mumbai carnage, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said he was looking forward to visiting the neighbouring country but stressed that there have to be "suitable outcomes" for such a trip. "I am looking forward to visiting Pakistan. No dates have been finalised for the visit," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on July 6, 2012. "As you know, there have to be suitable outcomes for such a visit," he said. While India pressed Pakistan to act on information relating to Jundal's disclosures and bring the perpetrators of 26/11 to justice, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani rejected any insinuation of involvement of Pakistani state agencies in the Mumbai terror attack. Earlier, Manmohan Singh had accepted Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari's invitation to him to visit Islamabad during the latter's daylong visit to New Delhi April 8, but had indicated that only concrete deliverables on important issues will make such a visit possible. 3

    In other developments, according to reports, on July 2, 2012, Afghanistan accused Pakistan’s army of launching rocket attacks on its territory and threatened to report Islamabad to the UN Security Council, straining already troubled ties between the neighbours. Kabul has regularly accused elements in Islamabad’s government and army of backing militants fighting the US-backed Kabul government, charges denied by Pakistan. But it was the first time Afghanistan has held Pakistan directly responsible for hundreds of rocket strikes on the heavily forested Afghan border province of Kunar that it says have killed four civilians since March. “We now have enough evidence that proves the rockets used in these attacks belong to the Pakistani army,” the spokesman for Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security, Shafiqullah Taheri stated. 4