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.