LAHORE / ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik clarified on Saturday that some containers carrying items for the US embassy in Kabul, which had crossed over from Pakistan into Afghanistan on Friday, were not a sign of the Nato supply route being reopened.
Speaking after a meeting with the Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, Syed Munawar Hassan at JI headquarters Mansoora, Malik said negotiations, on the guidelines proscribed by the Parliamentary review, were still underway, and no decision had been taken yet to reopen them.
Explaining the US containers which crossed over on Friday, the Interior Minister said containers containing goods go to Afghanistan through Pakistan under the Transit Trade Agreement TTA agreement between the two countries.
Malik said JI Ameer Hassan has been invited for talks with President Asif Zardari at Aiwane-e- Sadr on important national issues including the resumption of Nato supply line and law and order situation in the country.
He said the PPP and JI agree on the point that there should be no drone attacks in Pakistan. Both Houses of Parliament and all the provincial assemblies‚ through their resolutions demanded that drone attacks should not take place. This makes it the unified demand of the entire nation.
Parliament’s guidelines not a stumbling block
The vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), the largest coalition partner for the Pakistan Peoples Party in the Parliament said on Saturday that the recommendations of the joint session of Parliament provide broader prospect to the government to engage with the United States to renew its relationship for future.
A former senator and a leading lawyer, S M Zafar said in a statement, “I do not see the recommendations of the Parliament as a hurdle in negotiating and determining the strategic relations between these two old allies [Pakistan and United States]“.
He said it was important to steer through the delicate relationship between the US and Pakistan.
He said the points contained in the recommendations were the ideal to be ultimately achieved by proceeding step by step.
He said, accordingly, the Federal Government had the final authority under the Constitution by virtue of Article 97 read with Clause-3 of Fourth Schedule which deals with the external affairs and agreements with other countries, to devise the best strategy in the national interest.
Zafar suggested, “in the present circumstances, it will be appropriate that the Federal Government takes other stockholders into confidence by extending ex-officio membership ofthe Cabinet Defence Committee.”