Pakistan not invited to Chicago summit: Nato chief

Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

KARACHI: Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has urged Pakistan once again to reopen Nato ground supply routes to Afghanistan, DawnNews reported.

However, Rasmussen also said on Friday that Pakistan had not been invited to the crucial 25th Nato summit to be held in Chicago.The May 20-21 two-day summit, with over 60 heads of state and governments expected to be in attendance, will be the biggest Nato summit in history.The Nato chief said Pakistan’s name was not in the list of countries invited to the conference. Moreover, countries including Russia, China and India had also not been invited to the event.

Qatar, Morocco, United Arab Emirates and Jordan are among a few of the countries to be attending the conference.All eyes will be on Chicago later this month as crucial developments regarding Afghanistan’s future and the role of Nato forces in the region are expected to come out of the conference.Earlier in April, diplomatic sources had told Dawn that the US hopes Pakistan will reopen supply routes before President Asif Ali Zardari arrives in Chicago to attend the summit.

The US would welcome Pakistan’s “potential participation” in the Nato summit, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes had said.“And obviously, the United States expects Mr Zardari to reopen the supply routes before the summit as it would be too embarrassing for him to attend a Nato meeting while his forces are blocking Nato supply lines,” said an official dealing directly with the summit. – Dawn