Recommendations of a parliamentary panel on redefining cooperation with the United States can be refined further, said Senator Raza Rabbani, who heads the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) that prepared the recommendations, ahead of a meeting of the federal cabinet on Thursday to review the draft.
Rabbani presented to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate a set of proposals the committee drafted over the past few months to reset the country’s foreign policy priorities with a sharp focus on Islamabad-Washington relations in the war on terror.
The panel undertook the exercise after last year’s Nato airstrikes on Pakistani border posts, killing 24 soldiers.
The main opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz immediately rejected the draft and cautioned against using parliament to rubber-stamp decisions made by ‘some other powers.’
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani then called a special meeting of his Cabinet to review the draft of recommendations, which seeks an unconditional apology from the US over the Nato strikes.
The recommendations also call for an end to the drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas to hunt down al Qaeda and Taliban fugitives.
Officials at Prime Minister’s Secretariat told The Express Tribune there was a possibility that the Cabinet might suggest some changes in the draft proposals, to make them acceptable for all opposition groups in and outside parliament.
Parliament will open a three-day debate on the recommendations from Monday.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2012.
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