ISLAMABAD (AP) - Pakistan's parliament approved new guidelines for the country's troubled ties with the United States on Thursday, a decision that will likely pave the way for the reopening of supply lines to NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan that have been blocked since November.
The proposals call on the Pakistani government to allow the international coalition to resume transporting its supplies through the country, as well as demand an end to U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani soil. But the guidelines do not directly link the two issues or make a halt in strikes a prerequisite to reopening the supply lines.
Pakistan's parliament has in the past called for an end to the drone strikes, which are a source of popular outrage in country and have fueled anti-Americanism. The U.S. has ignored Islamabad's previous entreaties, and is unlikely to change its policy now.
Islamabad closed the supply lines in November to protest U.S. airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border.
The government called for a parliamentary vote into relations with the U.S. to give it political cover for reopening the routes. Opposition parties riding a wave of anti-American sentiment had rejected a previous set of guidelines, but voted with government lawmakers on Thursday to approve the new set, suggesting that all parties wanted to put the matter behind them.
"We believe that the world has heard the voice of the people of Pakistan," Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told parliament. "I would like to assure the house that our government will implement the recommendations that have been made in both letter and spirit."
He didn't say when the supply lines would reopen.
Washington has been waiting for the parliament to finish its review, believing it to be key to reopening the supply lines.
Behind the scenes negotiations also have been going on between the U.S. and Pakistan over the supply line issue and drone strikes. It was unclear whether there has been any new agreement on the strikes, which Washington believes are key to keeping al-Qaida on its back foot. Pakistani opposition to them is complicated by the fact that the army has secretly cooperated with the attacks in the past.
Few inside the Pakistani government or the army believe a permanent supply line blockade is worth the resulting international isolation. Pakistan relies on the U.S. and other NATO countries for its economic survival and for diplomatic and military support.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A lone note, hand written, faded on the scarred tree is all that is left of the accident site where Jane Modlesky died after crashing her car in Glastonbury.
When it comes to drinking and driving, the two just don't mix. Nationwide, drunk driving continues to be a problem.
A Connecticut man's portrait of Nelson Mandela hangs at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Disturbing images from two middle school students on social media has sparked an investigation by police in Redding.
As the anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy approaches, the Sandy Ground project is nearing its goal of building one new playground for each of the 26 victims.
The brand new head of the FBI was in Connecticut on Friday. James Comey visited the FBI branch in New Haven to discuss some of his biggest concerns.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — The Discovery Museum and Planetarium in Bridgeport has sold a massive bronze statue for $300,000 to finance a major upgrade to its science education program for schoolchildren.
The Federal Railroad Administration has mandated that all Metro-North lines use new safeguards to control train speed, in order to alert engineers that a train is entering a dangerous section of track.
Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London has taken away the medical benefits of anyone on strike, News 8 has learned.
Gov. Dannel Malloy says the recent release of the 911 recordings from the Newtown school shooting has likely made things more difficult for the families, but he also says he expected they'd be released all along. He just wishes it had …