ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has categorically refuted reports that Pakistani airspace is being used to send in supplies to Nato forces stationed in Afghanistan.
“Nato supplies have not been restored and no airport or airbase in Pakistan has been allowed for use to resume supply to Western forces,” Malik told the Senate on Friday.
Malik’s statement comes a day after US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter told reporters in Islamabad that although land routes were closed for Nato supplies, Pakistani airspace was being used for the purpose.
Malik was responding to a question by Senator Zafar Ali Shah, from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, on who had authorised use of Pakistan’s airspace for Nato supply. Senator Professor Khurshid, from Jamat-e-Islami, endorsed Shah’s view saying, “The airspace and land of this state is sacred.”
The interior minister said that he will ask the foreign or defence ministers to present a comprehensive briefing to the house on the matter on Monday.
But the JI and PML-N senators were not satisfied with Malik’s answer and staged a walkout from the house.
Security in Balochistan
Responding to a question, Malik said that Rs14.59 billion were spent in 2011 on personnel of Frontier Corps and Pakistan Coast Guards deployed in insurgency-hit Balochistan. He said that 48,928 FC men and 2,057 PCG personnel have been deployed in the province.
Talking about the Balochistan Package, he said that 85% of the package had been implemented. He said that next week, a detailed presentation will be given to parliamentarians hailing from Balochistan on the implementation of the Aghaz Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package.
He said that young Baloch will be employed in the FC and the 1961 act regarding employment in FC will be amended for this purpose.
On another question, Malik said that 3,395 FC and Rangers personnel were deployed for security in Islamabad at a cost of over 1.52 billion rupees in five years.