Pakistani parliament unanimously approves foreign policy reboot

April 13th, 2012 by | No Comment |

In a bid to put bilateral ties back on track with the United States, the Pakistani parliament has given a sudden and unanimous approval to the revised guidelines in terms of engagements with America and its allied countries.

A joint-sitting of the parliament held on Thursday to go down for a new history in the parliamentary affairs.

The Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) presented the draft of recommendations that proposed a host of new demands including an immediate end to US unmanned attacks and prohibiting the use of Pakistani airspace for transportation of arms and ammunition to Afghanistan.

Conversely, there was not mention of reopening NATO supply-line in the recommendations by the bi-partisan committee. It left the burden of the final decision solely on the shoulders of the executive.

The parliament called upon the incumbent to ensure immediate stoppage of attacks of US unmanned aircrafts inside the Pakistan’s territory.

The bi-partisan panel, in its redrafted recommendations, obliged most demands made by the opposition parties including PML-N JUI-F to accomplish what turned out to be a hard-earned accord.

Without any surprise, the opposition made a demand that the government should not use parliament for such matters.

A 13-membere committee with PPP’s Senator Raza Rabbani in the chair prepared the draft after hectic efforts of three weeks. Earlier, the PML-N and JUI-F rejected the first proposal of the committee it presented before the joint-sitting last month.

“We want to proactively engage with our international partners. Our resolve to combat extremism and terrorism remains unshakeable,” Rabbani told parliament.

Though the PCNS had asked the ministry of defence and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to formulate new flying rules for the areas close to Afghan border, it stopped short of suggesting the shooting down of drones or intruding gunships.

Here is a gist of new recommendations approved by the joint-sitting of the National Assembly and Senate.

1   Pakistani territory including its airspace shall not be used for transportation for arms and ammunition to Afghanistan.

2   All verbal agreements or understandings regarding national security shall cease to have effect forthwith.

3   No security contractors or intelligence operatives shall be allowed.

4   Pakistan should actively pursue the gas pipeline projects with Iran and Turkmenistan.

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