Ball’s in your court: ‘Reopening NATO supplies is parliament’s prerogative’

Published: February 14, 2012

Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani with Chief of Air Staff Rao Qamar Suleman at the PAF base in Jacobabad. PHOTO: INP

JACOBABAD: 

The resumption of Nato supply routes seems to be an issue too hot for anyone to handle at the moment.

Asserting that the decision to resume Nato supply routes will be taken by parliament alone, army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has hinted at improved coordination with the United States to conduct operations at the Afghan border.

Kayani, who was accompanying Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman and a group of media personnel at the Jacobabad Airbase (Shahbaz Airbase) on Monday, stated: “Parliament reserves the right to decide the resumption of Nato supplies.”

Relations with the US

At the occasion, the air chief firmly declared, “Jacobabad Airbase is now under the control of the PAF.”

Replying to a query related to the US – who was told to vacate the base by Pakistan in the aftermath of the November 26 Salala checkpoint attack – the army chief said Islamabad and Washington are cooperating on defence operations.

“Pakistani officials are taken into confidence whenever Afghan bordering areas are to be attacked,” Kayani reiterated while briefing journalists who were invited to attend the F-16 Block-52 ceremony.

Despite strained relations between the two allies, Gen Kayani said, “US always takes Pakistan into confidence when it comes to conducting operations against militants on bordering areas of Afghanistan.”

Talking about the Coalition Support Fund, which was set up by the US Congress after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan to reimburse allies for costs in supporting the US-led war on militancy, Gen Kayani said: “Pakistan is yet to receive $1.5 billion from the US.”

And Air chief Suleman revealed: “Pakistan is manufacturing its own unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra and we will soon be able to prepare UAVs equipped with missile technology.”

Pakistan has the capability to bring down drones being operated by the US in the tribal areas, but the policy and decision rests with Parliament, he stated.

Of tenures, Balochistan and India

Meanwhile, answering a question regarding an extension in his term, the air chief said that this question should be asked from the government not him. When asked whether Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha will be granted another extension, he quipped: “I will answer this question after two months.”

However, regarding the Balochistan issue, Gen Kayani appeared to be tight-lipped. He simply stressed on more jobs for Baloch youth in the armed forces.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • ali
    Feb 14, 2012 - 5:38AM

    can u shoot down a drone…if not then plz go home…

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  • Feb 14, 2012 - 6:18AM

    why ET is dying to see the supply route open again?????

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  • vasan
    Feb 14, 2012 - 6:32AM

    NATO supplies route is being decided upon by DeP. What a country.

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  • Imran
    Feb 14, 2012 - 6:43AM

    Parliament should not approve the opening of the supply routes. Whenever there is something which has a negative backlash, the army puts it in parliament’s plate. Otherwise it continues to conspire against the latter. Now is the time, parliament should refuse to provide that shoulder to the army to fire from.

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  • Feb 14, 2012 - 6:58AM

    of course he can’t say that America is providing weapons and training to Baloch insurgents.
    But anyone with a atom of brain can conclude this.

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  • Aarvey,india
    Feb 14, 2012 - 7:02AM

    Very appropriately made statement by Kayani in terms of timing and probably after his flight in a gleaming new F16 toy made by the USA. I am sure he must be missing the goodies and the dollars! Why can’t he be less hypocritical and show that Pakistan can be a genuine ally instead of the image it has around the world – of being a two timing freeloader?

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  • Feb 14, 2012 - 7:46AM

    The current parlimant is 40 % bogus because of the 40 million bogus votes had been voted.
    Its decisions could not be up-to the sovereignty of the nation.
    rather represent an agent of Uncle Same.

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  • Mythical reality
    Feb 14, 2012 - 7:53AM

    Are there any people left to fool? Or are there simple enough to be fooled anymore, Mr. Kiyani?

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  • dv sikka
    Feb 14, 2012 - 8:23AM

    What has Army chief to do with it. It is a policy decision to be taken by the administration, they can ask parliament for help.

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  • Justice
    Feb 14, 2012 - 8:32AM

    Ball in your court, dear Parliament; Really? Wish today was first day of Aprl !

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  • Feb 14, 2012 - 9:06AM

    @Truth Exposed:
    It is manufacturing consent.

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  • Mirza
    Feb 14, 2012 - 9:23AM

    Why is Kyani making political statements again? Why does he want to hide behind the parliament again like OBL’s killing when they used the civilians to deal with the world? Now all of a sudden this parliament is not corrupt and not elected by bogus votes? Now the parliament has become supreme institution of Pakistan?

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 14, 2012 - 9:24AM

    Uncounted countries have defense cooperation with the US bu no where in the US is allowed for drone attacks and send its forces across the border to kill the militants.

    It is the prerogative of the host country to extend defense cooperation on mutual understanding but in case of Pakistan we have bend too much before the US.

    Let me elaborate here that people of Pakistan are more powerful than the parliament, the reason being that people elect their representative and send them to the parliament. It is not the parliament who can decided against the wishes of the people.

    We must reduce the increasing aggression of US in Pakistan and that is only possible when we will decide that we will not bow any more before the US.

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  • Bilal
    Feb 14, 2012 - 9:25AM

    Pakistan need a large and educated delegation here in US to counter Indian lobby, without doing this Indian sitting here in US will not let Pakistan-US relations to be improved.

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  • American Desi
    Feb 14, 2012 - 10:10AM

    Cunning Kayani setting up the whipping boys for the unpopular move!

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  • Nadeem
    Feb 14, 2012 - 10:17AM

    One day the Parliament will receive a phone call from GHQ to approve the re-opening of the supply route. The Parliament will comply. And from that point on the Army will absolve itself by claiming that ‘this was not our decision, it was the Parliament’s”

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  • Adil
    Feb 14, 2012 - 12:38PM

    @Mirza:
    OBL’s killing… very nice. Have you ever seen a real photo or clip of his killing or his dead body???? The western media influence is so strong that people believe everything they say without proof.

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  • Ishrat Salim
    Feb 14, 2012 - 3:13PM

    Yes ! Parliament decided to block NATO supply & it will decide when to open after new engagement terms being worked out by the Parliamentry committee on defence is firmed up & finalised by Parliament…if Army asserts its authority,people do not like it, when Army puts the burden on Parliament, people sees it with renewed suspicion..? instead of appreciating it as the ” right thing “.Recommend

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