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US Lawmakers Call for Review of Pakistan Relations

December 6, 2011

Two influential U.S. lawmakers are calling for the United States to “fully review” its relationship with Pakistan, including reconsidering all security and economic aid.

Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham said in a statement Monday the U.S. has been, in their words, “incredibly patient” with Pakistan. But they said future relations with the country must be grounded in what they called the “realistic understanding” that Pakistani military actions have contributed to the death and injury of American soldiers and jeopardized U.S. security interests.

The senators, both key members of the Senate Armed Services committee, accused Pakistani army and intelligence officials of supporting the Haqqani network and other terrorist groups.

Their statement came as Pakistan boycotted a high-level international conference on the future of Afghanistan. Pakistan said it chose not to participate in the meeting, attended by some 100 nations and international organizations, in light of a cross-border attack by NATO late last month that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

McCain and Graham expressed “deep condolences” over the deaths, and said they were confident the NATO and U.S. military investigation will clarify the circumstances of “this terrible tragedy.”

U.S. President Barack Obama Sunday also expressed his condolences in a telephone call to Pakistan's president. Mr. Obama said the incident was regrettable and not a deliberate attack on Pakistan. The president said the relationship with Pakistan is critical to the security of both nations.

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