ISLAMABAD: The leadership will meet next week to discuss ending a nearly six-month blockade on NATO supplies into Afghanistan, officials said Friday.
The meeting will also include discussions on how to repair relations with the United States in time to attend a key NATO summit later this month, the officials added.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is understood to have confirmed the date for Tuesday's meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) from London, where he is on an official visit to Britain, the second-largest contributor to the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
Pakistan shut its Afghan border crossings to NATO supplies after US air strikes inadvertently killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on November 26, provoking a major crisis in Pakistani-US relations still reeling from the covert raid that killed Osama bin Laden the previous May.
US officials expressed regret, but stopped short of apologising for the deaths that an American and NATO investigation said stemmed from mistakes made on both sides.
"A meeting of the defence committee of the cabinet has been convened on May 15. It will be followed by cabinet meeting on May 16," said one senior government official.
Diplomats have been keen to resolve the impasse between Islamabad and Washington before the NATO summit on Afghanistan in Chicago on May 21-22, to which Islamabad has been invited.
"The meetings will discuss whether Pakistan should re-open the NATO supply route or not, and if Islamabad should attend the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago," another official told.
"These are very critical issues, which need a serious discussion," he added.
Gilani will chair the meeting, to be attended by all Pakistan's service chiefs, including head of the army General Ashfaq Kayani and ISI intelligence head, Zaheer ul Islam; as well as Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, the defence, interior and finance ministers.
Officials declined to say publicly when the NATO supply route could reopen despite local press reports that Pakistan and the United States are on the verge of a breakthrough. (AFP)