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Pakistan can cut supply lines to US forces: MPs

Pakistan can cut supply lines to US forces: MPs

May 14, 2011 - 18:19

ISLAMABAD(PANinfo-icon): Pakistaninfo-icon's parliament, condemning a US raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2, on Saturday warned that Pakistan could cut supply lines to American forces in Afghanistaninfo-icon if there were more such attacks.

The in-camera session which was attended by Pakistan top military and intelligence service officials, called for a review of US ties.

The intelligence chief, Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, was cited as saying he was ready to resign over the bin Laden affair, which has embarrassed the country and led to suspicion that Pakistani security agents knew where the al Qaeda chief was hiding.

The secret US raid on bin Laden's lair in the garrison town of Abbottabad, 50km (30 miles) north of Islamabad, has strained already prickly ties with the United States.

"Parliament condemns the unilateral action in Abbottabad which constitutes a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty," it said in a resolution issued after security chiefs briefed legislators.

Pakistanhas dismissed as absurd any suggestion that authorities knew bin Laden was holed up in a high-walled compound near the country's top military academy.

The US administration has not accused Pakistan of complicity in hiding bin Laden but has said he must have had some sort of support network, which it wants to uncover.

Members of the two houses of parliament said the government should review ties with the United States to safeguard Pakistan's national interests and they also called for an end to US attacks on militants with its pilotless drone aircraft.

They also called for an independent commission to investigate the bin Laden case.

Pakistanofficially objects to the drone attacks, saying they violate its sovereignty and feed public anger, although US officials have long said they are carried out under an agreement between the countries.

The legislators said US "unilateral actions" such as the Abbottabad raid and drone strikes were unacceptable, and the government should consider cutting vital US lines of supply for its forces in Afghanistan unless they stopped.

Pasha, head of the military's main Inter-Services Intelligence (ISIinfo-icon) spy agency, told parliament in a closed-door briefing he was "ready to resign" over the bin Laden affair, a legislator said.

Pasha, who was asked tough questions by some members of parliament, told the assembly he did not want to "hang around" if parliament deemed him responsible, legislator Riaz Fatyana, the leader Pakistan Muslim League, Qaid-i-Azam Group, told reporters."I am ready to resign," Fatyana quoted the ISI chief as saying.

Opposition leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said civilian leaders, not the security agencies, should be deciding policy toward India, the United States and Afghanistan.

"The elected government should formulate foreign policy. A parallel policy or parallel government should not be allowed to work," Sharif told a news conference.

PAN Monitor/ma


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