Written, unwritten and secret: Panel seeks details on pacts with US

Published: December 9, 2011

“The committee will give its recommendations after discussing agreements and assurances given by the government to the US and Nato,” Raza said.

ISLAMABAD: 

As Pakistan rethinks its role in the Afghan war, the government has been asked to share details of all agreements with the US that allow the country to operate inside Pakistani territory.

In its third meeting on the Nato attack which killed 24 soldiers, the parliamentary committee on national security on Thursday said both verbal and written agreements with the US must be presented to the panel.

“The committee has decided to summon ministries of foreign affairs and defence in the meeting to be held on December 13,” Senator Raza Rabbani, chairperson of the committee, told reporters after a closed-door meeting at the Parliament House.

Parliamentarians were said to have expressed concern on the agreements under which the US and its allies have been repeatedly violating Pakistan’s sovereignty without taking into account its assistance and losses during the 10-year war.

In a parallel move, the bipartisan committee also decided on a broader framework to begin investigations into a secret memo which allegedly asked the US to help Pakistan’s civilian government in case of a military coup.

Rabbani said the committee will ask the ministry of defence for its input when finalising recommendations for parliament to review its policies on the war on terror. “The committee will give its recommendations after discussing agreements and assurances given by the government to the US and Nato,” he said.

The recommendations will be presented before the joint session of parliament for an approval. Before President Asif Ali Zardari was hospitalised, he had announced that the joint session would be convened after Muharram 10, but following his illness no date for the session has been decided upon.

While briefing the media over the memogate scandal, Raza Rabbani said that the committee has chalked out a plan on how to proceed further on the issue.

Senator Rabbani meets PM

Meanwhile, Senator Raza Rabbani met Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in Islamabad, a statement from the PM House said.

The senator briefed Gilani and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on the decisions taken by the committee on terms of engagement with the US.

The chairman also briefed the PM about the cooperation required from federal ministries. Pakistan’s Ambassador-designate to the US Sherry Rehman was also present at the meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Mir Agha
    Dec 9, 2011 - 6:34AM

    A welcome initiative by the civilians. Any back-door deals for narrow benefits to the military establishment and leftist ideologues like Haqqani must be brought into the open for scrutiny. Kudos to Mr. Rabbani.

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  • HoneyBee
    Dec 9, 2011 - 7:11AM

    its an OPEN SECRET . . .everybody knows . . .??

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  • Dec 9, 2011 - 9:45AM

    Pakistan must reconsider its policy towards the US. Otherwise,, US will destroy Pakistan. They have done this to many countries.

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  • Mirza
    Dec 9, 2011 - 11:19AM

    Great job by the bipartisan committee. No wonder the establishment hates democracy and does not want to see it working. How can this committee make any recommendation when things are kept hidden by the previous rulers and generals? When was the last time elected representatives of people had the power to bring out the facts? Let us include the presence of OBL in an army base and the “facts” would come out.

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  • Well
    Dec 9, 2011 - 12:25PM

    The time for truth and honor for humanity. Good going and job well done Mr. Rabbani!

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  • hamza khan
    Dec 9, 2011 - 11:10PM

    i personally believe there are no secret agreements in place. unless the PPP has done something so radical as to go behind the back of the army, i would presume that this has been done with the blessing of certain quarters, whether it was the army or the PPP.

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  • Mirza
    Dec 10, 2011 - 3:11AM

    Like all civilized nations finally the secrets are going to be disclosed to the public. People have every right to know the truth. Only the culprits would be afraid of the non partisan debate by the elected assembly! It is time to fear for the sacred cows! Long live democratic and transparent Pakistan!

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