Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has clarified that the decision to resume Ground Line of Communication (GLOC) was taken in the best interest of the country, aiming to facilitate the withdrawal of foreign forces form war-torn Afghanistan.

While speaking to the media, the premier said that peace and stability in the neighboring states was directly benefits Pakistan. Any further delay in resumption of land route to NATO forces would have adversely affected our ties with NATO member countries, he added.

Referring to passage of legislation from the European Parliament that would enhance access for Pakistani exports from 2014 onwards under the Generalized System of Preference Plus (GSPP), Ashraf said it would not have been possible without the active support of some NATO countries.

He noted, “Pakistan is a partner of the international community and was playing its leading role as a frontline state against forces of terrorism”.

Commenting on the energy crisis, the premier stated that energy and water, balanced regional development and poverty reduction and job creation should be development strategy during the current PSDP.

Issuing directives to the Planning Commission to complete the ongoing projects which are near completion and carry maximum social impact, he was of the opinion  the industry will help country back on track.

Ashraf emphasized, “The projects like Chashma Right Bank Canal (lift irrigation), Kachhi Canal, Greater Thal Canal, Quetta Water Supply project, Layari Expressway, Ratodero-Gawadar road, Lawari Tunnel and Munda Dam, should be given priority because of the enormous impact on agriculture, energy sector, connectivity and the huge potential of agro-based industries throughout the country”.

At the occasion, President Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain backed the government’s decision to resume land route for allied forces battling in Afghanistan, saying no country could afford international isolation in the world.

The PML-Q leader asserted that the NATO forces in Afghanistan represent over 50 countries under the mandate of the United Nations. In his view, Pakistan could face problems in the UN owing to diplomatic impasse over the issue.

Chaudhry Shujaat added foreign policy decisions needed to be taken in a dispassionate and cool-headed manner as stakes were too high to be left at the mercy of emotions and irrational behavior.