Maqbool Malik and Zamir Sheikh ISLAMABAD/KARACHI Pakistan on Wednesday rejected US requests to reconsider its decision to boycott the Bonn conference on Afghanistan, telling its unreliable ally that the decision was final, diplomatic sources said.
Sources told The Nation that the Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar conveyed this to the US Ambassador Cameron Munter in a meeting held at the Foreign Office on Wednesday.
Earlier, on the same day, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told media men in Karachi that Pakistan wont compromise on its sovereignty and would not attend Bonn or any other such conference unless its gets credible assurances on its national security, in the post-Nato-raid scenario.
Speaking in Islamabad, Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar said the government was determined to review all pacts with the United States.
Sources in the US Embassy offered no input except confirming the developments that Ambassador Munter met separately with the Foreign Minister Hina Khar as well as Pakistan's Ambassador-designate Sherry Rehman.
'There is nothing more than this I can tell you, US Embassy deputy spokesperson said.
However, sources in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told that US envoy tried to persuade the minister for a review of the government decision to boycott the Bonn conference.
But the minister told the US ambassador that Pakistans decision in this regard was well-contemplated and final.
According to the sources, they also discussed issues relating to Pak-US relations and cooperation of the two countries in the war against terror.
The sources further said that in her separate meeting with the US Ambassador, Sherry Rehman discussed issues relating to her new assignment.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday said that Pakistans sovereignty, security and self-respect is more important than attending the Bonn Conference and that the US has been told to vacate Shamsi Airbase by December 11.
Responding to queries from media men after addressing the inaugural ceremony of UAE Expo 2011 at Expo Centre here on Wednesday, the prime minister said the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee has given the deadline to the US on Shamsi Airbase in a letter to US military command and process in that regard was already in progress.
Gilani said Afghan President Hamid Karzai had called him over phone Tuesday and requested him for Pakistans participation in Bonn Conference, telling him that the conference was about Afghanistan and it would be incomplete without Pakistans presence.
But I told President Karzai that Afghan soil was being used against Pakistan and this is why Pakistan will not participate in that moot, Gilani said.
The Afghan President, he said, responded by saying that the attack on Pakistani checkpost was carried out by US and Nato forces, and Afghan troops had no role in it.
But he (Gilani) made it clear that Pakistan will not attend any such conference without being assured of its national sovereignty, the PM added.
We need assurances for our national solidarity and sovereignty, without which we will not attend Bonn Conference, which is meant for peace and progress of Afghanistan, the prime minister vowed, stressing that defence of Pakistan mattered the most.
Unless, we are given assurances for our security, sovereignty, integrity, dignity, honour and self-respect, we cannot attend Bon conference, he added.
Pakistan, he said, has always desired to work for political reconciliation in Afghanistan as we want peace and stability in our neighbourhood.
We fully understand that instability in any country leads to disturbance in the neighbouring states, therefore, we wish to support peace in Afghanistan, but attacks on our own sovereignty are unacceptable and we have decided to keep out of the Bonn Conference in protest.
Gilani said Pakistan wanted good relations with the US as well, but this relationship must be on the basis of mutual respect and equality.
He said the government had always placed countrys sovereignty on the top of its priority list and that all other things come later.
Agencies add: Defence Minister Ch Ahmed Mukhtar also said on Wednesday that Shamsi airbase would be evacuated on December 11 but added that no decision has been made regarding Shahbaz airbase as yet.
Talking to journalists in Islamabad, Mukhtar said Pakistan would not back off from its decision, adding that the decision to stop Nato supplies was also taken in line with the national interest and any decision on Shahbaz Airbase would be taken keeping in view national interests.
Pakistan will also review other pacts with the United States, he added.
He said that all the precautionary measures were being taken to show the nation that 'we all are united.
Replying a query he said that the US and Nato apology would be accepted only when the nation would ask to do so.
On another question regarding drone attacks whether Pakistan would shoot down the spy planes, he said that Pakistan did not want war with the United States and there would be no more drone strikes after December 11.
The cabinet agreed on boycotting the Bonn Conference to protest against Saturdays attack on the Afghan border, the deadliest such assault by Nato troops in 10 years of war in Afghanistan that has plunged US-Pakistani ties into deep crisis.
As a neighbour with historic ties to Afghanistan, Pakistan is considered integral to ending the decade-long conflict, but experts say a boycott matters less now that expectations for Bonn have been dramatically curtailed.
Diplomats had hoped the conference would help broker peace with the Taliban, who will not be attending either.
One diplomatic official in Afghanistan called on the Americans to 'act expeditiously to stave off a boycott.
If they made a mistake, they have not only to apologise but they have to do something more than that, compensation or something else because thats pretty serious, the official added.
Pakistan has also closed the Afghan border to Nato, a lifeline for 140,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, ordered US personnel by December 11 to leave an air base reportedly used by CIA drones and launched a review of the alliance.
US-Pakistan ties have been in free fall since a CIA contractor killed two Pakistanis in Lahore in January, reaching a nadir after a clandestine American raid killed Osama bin Laden on the doorstep of Pakistans military academy in May.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 01-Dec-2011 here.