Pakistan MPs allow non-lethal ISAF supplies
ISLAMABAD (PAN): Pakistani legislators, showing a hard-won consensus, approved recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) regarding new terms of engagement with the US and a resumption of non-lethal NATO supplies.
A joint sitting of Parliament urged the government late on Thursday not to let Pakistan serve as a conduit of arms shipments to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops stationed in Afghanistan. However, it accorded approval to restarting non-lethal supplies.
Earlier in the day, the National Assembly and Senate adopted the revised recommendations of the bipartisan committee, with Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani promising that his administration would fully implement the guidelines.
In a revised report, the panel said: “Pakistani territory including its airspace shall not be used for transportation of arms and ammunition to Afghanistan.” However, it dropped conditions for resuming the transportation of supplies through Pakistani land routes for international forces.
Once again, the committee stressed an “immediate” stop to US drone raids in the tribal region near the Afghanistan border. However, it did not take into account calls from some MPs to link the reopening of the NATO supply route to and end to the drone strikes
The committee chairman, reading out the revised report, reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to combating terrorism and extremism in pursuance of its national interests. Raza Rabbani asked the government to seek an unconditional apology from the US on the Salala attack.
At least 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in the ISAF air raid in the Mohmand tribal region in November, heightening tensions between Washington and Islamabad. In an agry response, Pakistan choked the ISAF supply line and ordered the US to vacate the Shamsi airbase in Balochistan.
Addressing the joint sitting, Prime Minister Gilani said: “Today, Pakistan has crossed another milestone. We have brought substantive oversight and democratic accountability to our foreign and security policy.”
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