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Pakistan confirms NATO supplies blocked via NW. province

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Pakistan confirms NATO supplies blocked via NW. province

ISLAMABAD, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan on Thursday confirmed that supplies to NATO forces through the country's main routes have been suspended.

The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party which rules in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has blocked the NATO supplies in protest against the U.S. drone strikes.

Foreign Office spokesman Azaz Ahmed Chaudhry said the United States has suspended NATO supplies through Torkham to protect lives of the container drivers. However, he said the supplies are smoothly continuing through southwestern Balochistan.

Speaking at a weekly briefing in Islamabad, he said Pakistan is against drone strikes because these are counterproductive.

Pakistan has raised the issue of drone attacks at all international forums including the United Nations and Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also raised the issue with the U.S. special envoy during his recent visit to Islamabad, he said.

There is no proposal under consideration to open a Taliban office in Pakistan for dialogue with the United States; however, Pakistan is facilitating the Afghan reconciliation process, the spokesman said.

He said Pakistan intends to facilitate the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan as it desires a smooth process in this regard.

Commenting on media reports about the construction of a wall on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, the spokesman said there is an understanding that there should not be any construction within 500 meters of the LoC.

He added Pakistan and India need to address all outstanding issues and the mistrust that divides the two nations.

He said the government wants to see improved relationship between the two neighbors and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has expressed positive signals to the Indian leadership at various occasions.

"Economic development of the region is linked with the resolution of our bilateral outstanding issues," he said.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/131205/pakistan-confirms-nato-supplies-blocked-nw-province