Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Tuesday demanded an explanation from civil and military authorities on their newly agreed ‘code of conduct’ with US, without taking Parliament and the people into confidence.
“If [the government] had to settle everything with Americans, there was no need of a joint session of Parliament,” Khan said.
In a unanimous resolution passed on May 14, Parliament had asked the government to revisit its ties with US. Three days later, however, Islamabad agreed on new rules of engagement and to work together with the US on any future action against high value targets.
“We want to know the rules of engagement,” said Khan, adding that “secret agreements should not be made.”
Khan also censured the government for its lukewarm response to the drone attack that took place three days after Parliament’s adoption of the unanimous resolution.
Nisar said the government and the army should have taken action and stopped the supply line to NATO forces, as envisaged by the resolution.
When asked about his party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) plan of action in case of further violations of the resolution, Nisar said they would be left with no option but to disclose the proceedings of the in-camera session
He threatened to publicise the draft resolution submitted by the ministry of foreign affairs during the joint session of parliament if the government ‘fails to mend its ways’.
Khan added that his party had rejected that draft.
He also dismissed the suggestions that his party was against the armed forces, adding “we have reposed our confidence in them.”
While talking about the establishment of the independent commission to probe the Abbottabad fiasco, Nisar lamented that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani did not take the initiative but left for a foreign visit.
“I will dispatch a letter bearing some names for inclusion in the commission by tomorrow,” he said, adding that the commission should complete its work within 30 days.
The names suggested by the PML-N for the commission include Justice (retd) Shafiur Rehman, Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid, Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, Majeed Nizami, Asma Jahangir and Mehmood Khan Achakzai.
He added, however, that these are merely suggestions and he is not sure
if any of these individuals would agree to join the commission since he has not yet contacted them.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2011.
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