War on terror cooperation: 9 written agreements come to light

Published: December 13, 2011
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FM Khar reveals secret pacts with US, NATO, ISAF in parliamentary committee briefing

FM Khar reveals secret pacts with US, NATO, ISAF in parliamentary committee briefing

ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan reviews its foreign policy towards the United States, other curious details are beginning to emerge about the recent history of the strained alliance.

After a decade of secrecy, the government on Thursday spilled the beans by telling a parliamentary panel that Pakistan’s ‘war on terror’ cooperation with the US-led international forces stationed in Afghanistan was under nine written agreements — seven related to defence and two foreign affairs.

The parliamentary committee on the national security (PNSC), tasked with furnishing recommendations for the government in its review of the relationship with the US, had directed authorities to submit the drafts of these deals, after the revelation was made at a meeting here.

Chaired by Senator Raza Rabbani, the meeting was briefed byForeign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and the secretary of the defence ministry about these agreements — all of which were signed during the regime of former president Pervez Musharraf.

The committee was given the task of preparing recommendations for the government to re-evaluate Pakistan’s ‘war on terror’ role after Nato airstrikes on its border check posts in the Mohmand Agency killed two dozen soldiers late last month.

At a two-day conference of Pakistan’s envoys deployed in key world capitals earlier in the week, the government had already revealed that there were two deals with the US to regulate logistical supplies for Nato troops in Afghanistan.

Raza Rabbani told the media after the meeting that the committee was expected to finalise its recommendations by the closing week of the month when it meets again on December 24 to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, the chairman told journalists that the panel would meet on December 21 to start deliberations on the Memogate scandal — another thorny controversy the panel had been asked to probe by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

Khar said Pakistan would participate in the war on terror in the future on its own terms, and its relations with the US would be much more clear and unambiguous.

The minister termed a decision by the US Congress to freeze Pakistan’s aid unfortunate and warned that Washington and not Islamabad would be responsible if efforts to combat terrorism in Afghanistan suffered any blows in the future.

She said Pakistan’s relations with the US were currently “on hold” and would start moving forwards again only when parliament redesigns the policy guidelines based on the recommendations of the panel on national security.

“It will be a partnership which has less grey areas, which has a clear mandate of the public and parliament of Pakistan; and therefore, we will be able to pursue this partnership much more vigorously,” she added.

Khar also said she was confident because Pakistan did the internal re-evaluation that was needed. “It will not only strengthen the space within the country or give us ownership of our foreign policy … but it will also strengthen the partnership that we pursue with any other country.”

At the envoys’ conference recently held in Islamabad, the foreign minister said that Pakistan does not wish to ruin its relationship with the US or engage in any war.

The recommendations formulated during the conference were put forward before the committee. The foreign minister also said that Pakistan should not be worried by cuts in US aid.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Palvasha von Hassell
    Dec 13, 2011 - 4:39PM

    Pakistani missions abroad should do more to counter negative propaganda about Pakistan in Western media. There are massive distortions, for instance about the Salalah attack and alleged LeJ involvement in the afghan attacks. There should be a more proactive policy to inform the public in Germany, for example, about the truth in such matters, about which usually misinformation is provided by the press. Ordinary members of the public who are not into researching take things they read about Pakistan at face-value, such as that the Salalah attack was “inadvertent”! I hope measurs will be taken towards this end.

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  • malik
    Dec 13, 2011 - 5:47PM

    Indeed, the Foreign Ministry cannot and will not decide on the reopening of NATO supply routes. It never will. It is the Pakistani army that will have the ultimate say on this, as in other issues of national consequence. There is no need for pretending or dissumaltion on the part of the civilian leaders. The pertinent question is: Will the valid inputs of the envoys be considered at all? This so-called “Envoys Conference,” hopefully, wouldn’t be an exercise in futility.

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  • Imran
    Dec 13, 2011 - 5:51PM

    With a general sitting by her side “foreign policy would be finalised after the parliament would give its mandate over it.” Ya rite!!Recommend

  • bangash
    Dec 13, 2011 - 6:37PM

    GHQ makes the foreign policy of Pakistan and these envoys and FO’s are mere messenger boys and girls.

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  • Maryam
    Dec 13, 2011 - 7:21PM

    Only the Pakistan Army has the power to change our foreign policy. It is neither our Ambassadors nor our Elected Representatives, including the respect FM, who can even say a word regarding that. As rightly said by Bangash here, we all only serve to be the messengers for our generals.

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  • Cautious
    Dec 13, 2011 - 8:09PM

    I am unsure of why this meeting is taking place — pretty clear to the rest of the World that the military controls foreign policy. Perhaps the military requested the meeting to give them the marching orders — if so I hope the Ambassadors had the guts to tell the military that they need to get a more plausible explanation on why the USA would purposely target a remote border outpost – the explanation provided by the military are such that no one outside of Pakistan will believe it.Recommend

  • ayesha
    Dec 13, 2011 - 10:42PM

    @Palvasha von Hassell: “alleged LeJ involvement in the afghan attacks”
    LeJ claimed responsibility. The people all over the world are nto as gullible as the Pakistani people to buy all the lies peddled by your army. IT only agrees to facts after they are caught: For example in the past they denied that they use dto send thousands of jihadis to Jammu and Kashmir. They denied the fact that it was Pak soldiers and not local eople who were fighting in Kargill. They deined that Kasab was a Pakistani. They claim that Hafiz Saeed leads a charity only and has nothing to do with LeT and yet he openly gives speeches that are available on U-tube. Sponsored Fai but funded him through money laundering mislading people about his status.

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  • Shah G
    Dec 13, 2011 - 10:50PM

    “……..Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Khalid Shameem Wynne and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha briefed the participants.”

    says it all.

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  • Raj
    Dec 14, 2011 - 12:08AM

    Yes ! No doubt its being reviewed by GHQ, as they are the decision makers while your office is just for presentation !!!!
    Some way to run a country and government !!!!

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  • Palvasha von Hassell
    Dec 14, 2011 - 12:59AM

    @ayesha:

    Some chappie claimed responsibility for LeJ. The authenticity of this claim is unproven to date. At least the BBC was honest enough to admit it. So much for you “people all over the world”! It’s not a question of gullibility, but of pointing fingers without bothering to verify.It’s people like you who are ready to believe anything a Gora tells you! How naive!

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  • Misbahullah
    Dec 14, 2011 - 2:38AM

    It is indeed necessity of time to apprise the world about the realities of the Salalah attack and a God given opportunity to rewrite its terms of engagement with USA and Nato on parity.Having lack of any international english news channel,it is quite tough task for ambassadors to present Pakistan’s stance and reality.Anyway God has given us a chance to give a message to world that we are a sovereign and independent nation and we respect world and expect the same from the world.

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  • ayesha
    Dec 14, 2011 - 5:06AM

    @Palvasha von Hassell:
    What do you have to say about all the other lies that Pak army peddled which I have given examples of and which were later found out? People like you say 9/11 was an Inside job and OBL wasn’t killed on May 2. You can call everyone else naive but if you buy your head in the sand, the approaching danger will not go away you know?

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  • rehmat
    Dec 14, 2011 - 5:17AM

    @Palvasha von Hassell: “There should be a more proactive policy to inform the public in Germany, for example, about the truth in such matters, about which usually misinformation is provided by the press. Ordinary members of the public who are not into researching take things they read about Pakistan at face-value, such as that the Salalah attack was “inadvertent”! I hope measurs will be taken towards this end”

    The only verifiable fact is that a Pak outpost was bombed by NATO and 24 soldiers died. Whether it was inadvertent or deliberate can only be known with surety by the people who carried out the attack. For anyone else it is merely a matter of opinion. Pak military tells you it was deliberate so you believe it. NATO tells them it was inadvertent so they believe it. How can you say so definitively that they are misinformed and you are not?

    Secondly, how do you suppose these envoys can reach ‘ordinary public, who are not into researching and take things at face value’? Run paid advertisements on TV or newspapaers? Do you know what a joke it was when an ad was run in Wall Street Journal by the army? The outcome was the exact opposite of the intent. Also have you considered the cost of that?

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  • MarkH
    Dec 16, 2011 - 9:18AM

    “The minister termed a decision by the US Congress to freeze Pakistan’s aid unfortunate and warned that Washington and not Islamabad would be responsible if efforts to combat terrorism in Afghanistan suffered any blows in the future.”
    Nobody ever expects you to take responsibility for anything, anyways.

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  • Guddu
    Dec 16, 2011 - 9:42AM

    @Palvasha von Hassell: ‘At least the BBC was honest enough to admit it’. Then WHY is it banned in Pak Recommend

  • Guddu
    Dec 16, 2011 - 9:47AM

    @bangash: It has taken you a long time to finally write that is true. I recommend your statement.

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  • Acorn Guts
    Dec 16, 2011 - 2:08PM

    To be honest I quite admire Ms Rabbani for holding the reins of foreign office so well in these troubled times.

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  • Dec 16, 2011 - 2:31PM

    @Guddu:
    “@Palvasha von Hassell: ‘At least the BBC was honest enough to admit it’. Then WHY is it banned in Pak”

    Did you think of the possibility that truth could be bitter?Recommend

  • Khalid Malhi
    Dec 16, 2011 - 3:16PM

    Super power are controlled by their Army Generals just look around and stop blaming,we are trying to establish our control over which had been severely damaged by Musharaf Govt.We are a peace loving people,the world should respect our sacrifices.Recommend

  • rizwan
    Dec 16, 2011 - 6:17PM

    @ayesha:
    ayesha je watttRecommend

  • Dec 16, 2011 - 7:35PM

    Not an intelligent telling from a very beautiful lady. Only a fool will accept that without any agreement supplies are passing through Pakistan; free and or against very nominal fee, Pakistan is supplying fuel, targeted drone operation inside of Pakistan, use of Pakistani military bases and air spaces for military aircraft, Pakistan will not harbour Afghan Taliban and Al-quida, CIA agents will operate inside Pakistan for intelligence gathering and they will be armed and enjoy diplomatic immunity and some more. And present govt thought there is no agreement with USA ? USA is doing all these by what ? Please do not insult all the people all the time.

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