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It’s not the first time the U.S. has ignored Pakistan's parliament, which has called for the drone strikes to end since 2008.

President Barack Obama significantly ramped up strikes in Pakistan when he took office in 2009, and while the U.S. has said little publicly about the attacks, American officials have argued in private that they are critical to targeting Taliban and al Qaeda fighters who threaten the West.

Drones are not the only issue complicating Pakistan’s decision to reopen the NATO supply lines.

The country's parliament has also demanded that the U.S. provide an “unconditional apology” for the deaths of the Pakistani troops in November. The U.S. has expressed regret, but has declined to apologize — a decision that appears to be driven by domestic political considerations. The U.S. has said its troops fired in self-defense — a claim disputed by Pakistan — and the White House could be concerned about Republican criticism if it apologizes.

Associated Press writer Chris Brummitt contributed to this report.