No arms to Afghanistan via Pakistan: Parliamentary panel (Lead)April 13th, 2012 - 12:58 am ICT by IANS
Islamabad, April 12 (IANS) A Pakistani parliamentary panel reviewing the future terms of engagement with the US said Thursday the country’s territory should not be used to transport arms into Afghanistan and that Islamabad should seek an unconditional apology from the US over a NATO air strike that killed 24 soldiers.
The Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) Thursday presented a revised report before a joint session of parliament, Geo News reported.
Speaking in the National Assembly - the lower house of parliament - PCNS chairman Raza Rabbani said the report was unanimously approved by the committee members.
The revised report calls for future relations with the US to be based on mutual interest, an immediate end to drone attacks, along with not allowing the country or its airspace to be used for the transport of weapons into Afghanistan for NATO-led troops.
The Online news agency said the committee, however, recommended that only food and medicines would be allowed as NATO supplies.
Pakistan’s nuclear programme and assets will not be compromised, Rabbani said.
“The US-Indo agreement on civil nuclear agreement has significantly altered the strategic balance in the region,” he said, adding that therefore Pakistan should seek from US another similar facility.
“Pakistan reaffirms its commitment to the elimination of terrorism and combating extremism in pursuance of its national interests,” he said.
He said the government should seek an unconditional apology from the US on the unprovoked border post attack Nov 26 last year in Salala in Mohmand Agency that claimed the lives of 24 Pakistani soldiers.
“Those held responsible for the Mohmand Agency attack should be brought to justice,” he said.
“The US should also give assurance that such attacks do not take place in the future,” Rabbani said, reading out the recommendations.
No overt or covert operations in Pakistan would be allowed nor will foreign countries be allowed to establish bases in the country.
The committee also recommended that no private security companies or operatives be allowed in Pakistan.
It called for an end to verbal agreements with other countries and said the security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets should not be compromised.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar discussed the recommendations of the parliamentary committee with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit Thursday admitted that there were problems in the relationship with the US and that the future of the ties depended on parliament, which was reviewing the terms of engagement with America.
“There are problems in the Pakistan-US relations and both sides were working to overcome the same,” Xinhua quoted Basit as saying.
“Pakistan wants normal relations with the US but their new dimensions will be set by the parliament which is discussing the future line of action with the US,” Basit said.
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Tags: airspace, border post, coun, covert operations, drone, extremism, geo news, house of parliament, joint session, mutual interest, national interests, nato air, nuclear agreement, pakistani soldiers, parliamentary committee, parliamentary panel, pcns, rabbani, salala, terms of engagement