Gilani urges DCC to decide in-principle to reopen Nato route, but it falls short

Published: May 15, 2012

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (L) chairing the defence committee meeting with senior cabinet ministers and military chiefs in Islamabad. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, chairing the Cabinet’s Defence Committee meeting in Islamabad stressed that it was detrimental to Pakistan’s interests to remain deadlocked over the Nato supply routes and that it is high time the committee takes a decision, at least in-principle, to conditionally reopen the route. However, the talk failed to make any headway as the committee failed to resolve the issue on Tuesday. 

Express News reported on Tuesday, that as the meeting ended, Minister for Information Kamar Zaman Kaira said that consultations were underway on reopening the supply route, and that the DCC will meet again to come to a decision on it.

Sources said, Gilani urged his defence committee to come to some sort of decision on the route, and that the Parliament had not expressly linked the reopening of Nato supply routes to a US apology or stopping drone strikes.

The commitee decided that the Foreign Office will keep talking with the US for a formal apology over the Novermber 26, 2011 attacks, in line with the Parliament’s recommendations, sources said. An official release said thay the DCC authorised relevant personnel in respective ministries and departments conclude ongoing negotiation on the new terms and conditions for resumption of Ground Line of Communications (GLOCs).

A committee was also formed under the Treasury Secretary which would oversee negotiations regarding new conditions, transit fee, and surcharge. It would constitute representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Joint Chiefs of Staff headquarters, and GHQ.

The new terms and conditions should incorporate a clause, as recommended by Parliament, to the effect that only non-lethal cargo would be allowed to transit through Pakistan to Afghanistan.

It was also decided that the military authorities should negotiate fresh border ground rules of Nato-Isaf to ensure that Salala type incidents do not reoccur.

The DCC welcomed the unconditional invitation by the Nato Secretary General to the President to attend the Chicago summit. The DCC fully endorsed the visit of the President for the Summit.

Gilani said that Pakistan wanted the elimination of foreign militants operating within its borders, a demand similar to that of the international community.

With reopening of the Nato supply routes and Pakistan-US relations on the agenda, the DCC meeting, is currently underway in Islamabad.

The meeting is being attended by Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Lieutenant General Shamim Wayne, Federal Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar and DG Inter-Service Intelligence Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam.

According to sources, the meeting is held to draw up a work plan for a conditional resumption of Nato supply routes.

The agenda for the meeting stipulates a discussion regarding the Nato invitation extended to President Asif Ali Zardari for the Chicago summit.

The recent meeting with the Isaf chief and US commander has also come under discussion during the DCC meeting.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Babloo
    May 15, 2012 - 11:17PM

    US shoud be careful of ‘in principle’ decisions by Pakistan.
    It should also ‘in principle’ invite Pak to the conference and provide aid only in ‘principle’, until it sees actual progress on the ground. Don’t say, I did not caution you.

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  • gp65
    May 15, 2012 - 11:20PM

    “Sources said, Gilani urged his defence committee to come to some sort of decision on the route”

    Well I think there IS a decision i.e. Do not open supply routes unless US complies with PCNS guidelines which includes cessation of drones and unconditional apology from the highest level.. IT just happens to be a decision he does not want.

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  • gp65
    May 15, 2012 - 11:31PM

    “According to sources, the meeting is held to draw up a work plan for a conditional resumption of Nato supply routes.”

    “Sources said, Gilani urged his defence committee to come to some sort of decision on the route”

    Statement 1 implies decision already made. Statement 2 implies decision yet to be made, Which is it?

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  • Umer
    May 15, 2012 - 11:38PM

    A committee was also formed under the Treasury Secretary which would oversee
    negotiations regarding new conditions, transit fee, and surcharge. It would constitute
    representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Joint Chiefs of
    Staff headquarters, and GHQ.

    This gives it away. As soon as GHQ is happy with the dollar rate the route would be opened. However the blame for this “unpatriotic” act will be put on the civilians to bear.

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  • Asif
    May 16, 2012 - 12:07AM

    people: they are playing games for public consumption. It will be opened since the Americans stared down on us. The rest his history

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  • Realist
    May 16, 2012 - 12:21AM

    Do they have principles? I thought this was a thing of the past ..

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  • Ex-diplomat
    May 16, 2012 - 12:44AM

    @Umer:
    rightly said very unfortunate but at the same time very true

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  • Logic Europe
    May 16, 2012 - 1:24AM

    More than the dollar rate,GHQ kmows that it is powerless to do anything but to bow to American demands.
    it is easy for opposition talk but Army knows its weakness

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  • Cautious
    May 16, 2012 - 1:55AM

    This only further undermines Pakistan’s image and makes your PM, FM and President look impotent. Why waste time negotiating with someone based on their title when they apparently don’t have the authority or guts to back up their promises.

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  • Prakash
    May 16, 2012 - 1:55AM

    Nato supply was stopped for Salala incident, now what this has to do with enhanced transit fee and ongoing drone strike.Pakistan should logically ask for apology and an assurance that Salala type incident will not be repeated.Pak FM has already said that Pakistan has made it’s point by stopping Nato supply for 6 months and now it should move over.. it has again started dilly dialing— OR its just posturing ( with sovereignty like high sounding words)to fetch more Dollars from USA.

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  • Mawali
    May 16, 2012 - 2:57AM

    Messrs. Z&G will get their bonuses for cooperating and all ij bell. Shame on NATO especially to the US for underhanded deals and then complaining why don’t they just love US.

    Zardari and the kind will sell Pakistan in a Larkana minute!

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  • AFPAK
    May 16, 2012 - 3:27AM

    Another surrender by the khaki to the khairat without even semblance of courage to fight for the ghairat.

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