WASHINGTON - The United States will keenly watch Pakistan’s parliamentary foreign policy debate that is expected to focus on Islamabad-Washington relations strained by the killing of Pakistani soldiers in Nato cross-border airstrikes in November last year, the State department said Monday.

“We will obviously watch the Parliamentary debate with interest and we look forward to re-engaging with the Government of Pakistan when it has results of the review,” State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland told the daily news briefing in response to a question.

Nuland also acknowledged the big Pakistani sacrifices in the fight against terrorists over a decade since it joined the war on al-Qaeda and its affiliates along the Afghan border in 2001.

She also noted President Asif Ali Zardari’s underscoring the importance of US-Pakistan relations in a major speech last week. “The point we make almost every time we talk about the importance of US- Pakistan counterterrorism cooperation, is how much Pakistan has suffered. It’s civilians as victims of terror and it’s soldiers in trying to defeat terror.”

Nuland was asked if Washington recognised the Pakistani sacrifices in the fight against terror over the last several years, as the country has seen thousands of Pakistani army personnel and civilians in cities lose their lives to retaliatory terrorist bombings. “So we understand the risk to Pakistani society. That is among the reasons why we are on intent on trying to help, trying to work together to beat this scourge,” Nuland remarked.

About today’s parliamentary debate, the spokesperson said Washington always believed that Pakistan should have time and space to complete the debate.