PCNS recommendations: ‘Pakistan should have clear-cut role in Afghan Endgame’

Published: April 1, 2012

Senator Raza Rabbani says lawmakers will work on a day-to-day basis till April 5 to finalise recommendations for new rules of engagement with the US.

ISLAMABAD: It’s come to an either-or situation. Either the US should define a role for Pakistan in the Afghanistan reconciliation process as Nato troop withdrawal draws closer – or continue to face a stalemate over the resumption of Nato supplies, the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) asserted on Saturday.

The parliamentary committee had been urged by the government in recent days to link the resumption of supplies with the Afghan Endgame.

“Washington should ensure ‘Pakistan’s key and well-defined role’ in the Afghan reconciliation process,” suggested a member of the PCNS, reviewing recommendations on Pakistan-US relations as well as foreign policy in general.

Meanwhile, a senior lawmaker who attended the meeting of the 12-member parliamentary panel meeting told The Express Tribune that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had demanded two points be added to the proposals being reviewed. Firstly, Dr Aafia Siddiqui be released, and second, a solution to the Kashmir issue. The additional inputs are likely to be included in the final draft of these proposals, officials said.

Lawmakers from the ruling alliance –Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – recommended that, “the Nato supplies resumption should also be linked to suspension of drone strikes in Pakistan.” The largest opposition in the National Assembly, the PML-N, also appeared to concur with this demand. For its part, the PCNS is seriously considering it.

However, chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Maulana Fazlur Rehman rejected such recommendations during the meeting saying, “Come what may, the Nato routes should not be reopened.” He (Fazl) will not attend PCNS meetings next time – if his recommendations are not entertained by the PCNS, one of participants quoting him as saying.

The committee also unanimously decided to amend three clauses, although these may be deleted from the final draft. The amended clauses concern US intelligence operators and security contractors in Pakistan, guarantees against US footprints on Pakistani soil and the use of military bases in Pakistan.

PML-Q Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed suggested that the committee amend proposals while keeping in mind the changing political scenario in the region. “We should stand united to promote our friendship with neighbours – ensuring the US that we want peace in the region. The Afghan endgame is inevitable, and this message should go to Washington now.”

PCNS Chairperson Senator Raza Rabbani said that members of the committee will meet on a day-to-day basis till April 5. “It’s our (lawmakers’) prime duty to bring about such recommendations which could write a new chapter in the history of state’s foreign policy,” Rabbani said while briefing reporters on Saturday.

Reader Comments (25)

  • blithe
    Apr 1, 2012 - 12:05AM

    There will be no stability in the region without a resolution to Kashmir.
    Much needed input by PML N.

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  • Khurram
    Apr 1, 2012 - 12:43AM

    Before seeking to define her role in the AfghanEndgame, the need of the hour is to define with utmost sincerity Pakistan’s role in Beginning the Afghan Game.

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  • Parvez
    Apr 1, 2012 - 12:51AM

    These recommendations must be made in the national interest by those who understand the subject…….at present it appears to be a casual compilation of a ‘wish list’ by non-serious players.

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  • Harry Stone
    Apr 1, 2012 - 1:20AM

    So to the list of demands of already running US foreign policy and security as it relates to Iran, PAK now wants to be in charge of any agreement the US/NATO might develop in Afghanistan. I though the comments about Iran were cheeky. I am not sure what to make of these.

    If this debate lasts much longer PAK will just want to become the UN Security Council and the current members can all just go home.

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  • ParvezM
    Apr 1, 2012 - 2:27AM

    @Harry Stone: War on Iran would be disaster for Pakistan and other countries in the region. If UN security council take a long vacation, it would not be a bad idea. Their performance for last fifty years speaks for itself.

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  • Blithe
    Apr 1, 2012 - 2:31AM

    It’s times like these that I feel proud that we are a
    democracy and we have seen the last of Musharraf

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  • MarkH
    Apr 1, 2012 - 2:47AM

    I wonder if they realize they’re talking about a supply route. Not a miracle cure to the world’s problems only they can give.

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  • Jibran
    Apr 1, 2012 - 3:08AM

    What kind of sick joke PML-N is making. Asking for the release of a convicted terrorist, and separation of Kashmir from India, where US is not in a position to do anything. This tells a lot about the seriousness of the PML-N leadership.

    Flip flops at its worst.

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  • Bhindian
    Apr 1, 2012 - 3:43AM

    I don’t think Pakistans role in Afghanistan requires US approval. US and Afghan government both know that without Pakistan there is no solution.

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  • soccersquash
    Apr 1, 2012 - 4:51AM

    While the list of demands grows I recommend one put in to force Bangladesh to be reunited with Pakistan since it seems to have its ducks in a row and could perhaps help out Pakistan. But then again I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if this comment is not printed because none of mine to date have been. Whom do I give rishwat to to print my comments?

    Geo Pakistan!

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  • Parvez Amin
    Apr 1, 2012 - 5:48AM

    Greed brought the US into Afghanistan. OBL was the excuse. Greed is keeping the US in Afghanistan. The ability of the US to ignore messages that ask them to leave increases in proportion to their greed — which seems to be unbounded. To shorten the end game, Pakistan should not allow them access, not ask them to help settle Kashmir because they cannot and must ask them to return Dr Aafia on humanitarian grounds.

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  • ali
    Apr 1, 2012 - 7:34AM

    nothing will change. we need a revolution. our elite is salve of America.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Apr 1, 2012 - 7:44AM

    If the present govetnment in Afghanistan is demanding from Pakistan a link route to the sea then according to existng international rule it can not be denied for a locked state for a long period . Therefore conditions for such relation has to be negotiated with Afghan and not with US or NATO . Kashmir and Asfia issue has nothing to do with Afghan government . For its solution you have to adopt a suitable approach . At present the PCNS has to decide whether Pakistan is a part of war against terrorism or not .

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  • Thoughtful
    Apr 1, 2012 - 8:16AM

    So lets get this list right. To reopen supply routes Pakistan wants..
    Money, a meaningful apology for Salala, a cessation of drone strikes, a defined role in Afghanistan, freedom for aafia siddique and oh not to forget a resolution of the Kashmir issue.
    At least Fazlur Rehman is honest when he says an emphatic no to reopening the supply routes.

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  • Nasir
    Apr 1, 2012 - 9:05AM

    US frustration and eagerness on supply re-opening is proving how deep they want the help of Pak in Afghanistan End-Game.

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  • Feroz
    Apr 1, 2012 - 9:08AM

    Pakistan has played a role that has brought nothing but misery to the Afghan people for the last two decades. That it brought the country and its own citizens nothing but violence and death is even worse. Can the World do something to rescue this region from megalomaniacs with saw dust filled brains – merchants of death I would like to call them.

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  • HoneyBee
    Apr 1, 2012 - 9:25AM

    Very silly demands from PMLn, just to make things more complicated….!!!!

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  • Not me
    Apr 1, 2012 - 9:48AM

    I always thought Afghanistan was an independent country and so was Pakistan
    Why not leave it to Afghanistan what role ,if any, it wants Pakistan to play.
    Pakistan parliament should focus it’s energy on issues within Pakistan on priority basis especially very quickly address issues,concerns of Baluchistan..I feel this is important

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  • AJ
    Apr 1, 2012 - 10:11AM

    @Harry stone: if a war mongering country like USA can be a member of security council then why not pakistan?

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  • G. Din
    Apr 1, 2012 - 5:42PM

    @AJ:
    “@Harry stone: if a war mongering country like USA can be a member of security council then why not pakistan?”
    Are you demanding the membership of Security Council for Pakistan because it is avowedly a warmongering country?

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  • Babloo
    Apr 2, 2012 - 1:48AM

    I am disappointed. Pakistan should demand 1 million dollars for every Pakistani for re-opening transit. And yes, in cash only. And please, dont just be happy with Kashmir, ask for hyderabad, junagadh , Tunna-gadh ( yes it exists ) and more.

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  • Harry Stone
    Apr 2, 2012 - 6:52AM

    @AJ:

    If you were to change your position just slightly then you would have a position that you would probably be surprised that would have more support than you realized. At any given time in the US there are between and 40 and 60 percent of the population that believes “The US out of the UN. The UN out of the US”. The UN is almost as corrupt and inefficient as the PAK government

    The U.S. pays 22 percent of the U.N.’s regular operating budget and 27 percent of the peacekeeping budget; In addition to this amount the US makes large volunteer contribution to various UN Agencies.

    I think if PAK wants to step up an assume these responsibilities, then by all means they should replace the US on the UNSC.

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  • Harry Stone
    Apr 2, 2012 - 10:06AM

    @Babloo:

    Would the US have to ALSO buy everyone in PAK a motor bike too?

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Apr 2, 2012 - 2:22PM

    @Not me: The army called it” strategic depth” the politicians call it” role in the Afghan end game”.They are asking USA for these guarantees, USA does not what its own role is in the end game will be. The only people who can give anyone a role in the end game and beyond that are the Afghan people . Treat them as equals ,befriend them then you do not need any guarantees from any one. The days of having colonies are gone and in any case history tells us no one could colonize Afghanistan.

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  • G. Din
    Apr 2, 2012 - 4:49PM

    @Harry Stone: to AJ
    “I think if PAK wants to step up an assume these responsibilities, then by all means they should replace the US on the UNSC.”
    And invite UN to set up its shop in Karachi. But then how can Pakistani elite go shopping jaunts in the US?

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