LAHORE: Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday warned the government against re-opening Nato supply routes to Afghanistan.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf vice chairman was talking to reporters at the party’s media office, a week before the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) meets to take a decision.
Qureshi said if the government decided to re-open the supply routes, the PTI would organise a rally in Rawalpindi on May 27 to “kick off a nation-wide protest against the rulers”. The PTI, he said, was also thinking of holding an all parties conference to take a stand against the government.
During the parliamentary debate on the Nato supply lines, the Parliamentary Committee on National Security had recommended some conditions for re-opening the supply routes, said Qureshi. They included an apology from the US for the Salala incident and halting drone attacks, he said, adding “Can the DCC overrule the parliament?”
The former foreign minister criticised the government for a U-turn in its policies. The foreign minister said that if we do not open the supply routes, it would create problems for Pakistan, said Qureshi. The PTI vice chairman also mentioned the finance minister’s statement, while in Washington DC, that Pakistan would not be able to make the budget if the Coalition Support Fund was not released. “Could the government not foresee these problems earlier?” he remarked.
He then said that the minister for defence had said that Pakistan would be violating international conventions if it did not open the supply routes. “Were these conventions not in place when we closed them?” asked Qureshi.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2012.
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