Not a matter of victory or defeat, Pakistan reopens Nato routes

Published: July 4, 2012
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A Pakistan national flag is mounted on the top of a fuel tanker, which was used to carry fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan, as drivers sit nearby, at a compound in Karachi July 3, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS

A Pakistan national flag is mounted on the top of a fuel tanker, which was used to carry fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan, as drivers sit nearby, at a compound in Karachi July 3, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Following an apology from the US secretary of state over November’s cross-border attacks, the Cabinet’s defence committee on Tuesday night announced to reopen route for NATO supplies to Afghanistan.

Briefing newsmen after meeting of Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC), Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said Pakistan welcomed Secretary Clinton’s apology over the Salala issue. “Today the US showed softness in its stance and accepted our principled stance over the issue. We appreciate this decision which is not anyone’s victory or defeat,” Kaira said.

The DCC meeting chaired by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf was attended by key federal ministers and chiefs of armed services.

Kaira said Pakistan decided to cooperate with NATO with a view to maintain peace and stability in Afghanistan.

As was in the past, Pakistan will also not charge transit fee for the supply route, he added.

To a question, he said transit fee is not a financial issue and it has been decided in principle that Pakistan would not charge any fee for NATO supply as it was a matter of national honour and dignity.

“National honour and dignity cannot be measured in terms of money.”

The Information Minister said only necessary items would be allowed inside Afghanistan for NATO, ISAF and Afghan forces.

The Minister said Pakistan closed NATO supply route and got vacated Shamsi airbase after the US attack on Salala check post.

The government negotiated with the US in line with the recommendations of the Parliament, which is reflective of the aspirations of people, he added.

He said Pakistan has made it clear that it will not allow the US to transport lethal weapons to Afghanistan, except those meant for the Afghan security forces.

The Minister reiterated that the drone attacks should be stopped as these are violation of sovereignty of Pakistan and international laws. Responding to a question, he said that talks about stoppage of drone attacks are going on with the US.

Kaira said the US has been told that attacks such as Salala should not happen again and they should respect Pakistan’s sovereignty. The US, he said, has assured Pakistan that there will be no repeat of Salala like incidents in future.

The Information Minister said Pakistan is a responsible nation and wanted to eradicate terrorism from the region , bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the region as well.

A stable and peaceful Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan and the region, he added.

To a question, he said, “Pakistan does not want clash with a super power like the US and more than 50 countries of NATO, with whom we have also good relations.”

To another question about Coalition Support Fund (CSF), Kaira said CSF was not assistance to Pakistan, rather it was the amount which the country has already spent on fight against terrorism.

During the DCC meeting, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar informed about her negotiations with the US administration.

Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry. Pervez Elahi, Minister for Defence Production Sardar Bahadur Ahmed Sihar, Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira, Senior Adviser to Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik, Chairman JCSC General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of  Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Acting Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Tanveer Faiz, Director General ISI Lt. Gen. M. Zaheerul Islam, Director General IB Aftab Sultan and seniors officials participated in the meeting.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Afghan Lion
    Jul 4, 2012 - 2:10AM

    Did someone say “National honour and dignity cannot be measured in terms of money.” ?
    Then what’s the 1.1 billion for?

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  • Mirza
    Jul 4, 2012 - 2:16AM

    Finally the common sense has prevailed. Let us learn a lesson from this overreaction and move on.

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Jul 4, 2012 - 2:19AM

    Let’s say advance “Fatiha” for those poor drivers and helpers who would be killed on this route.

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  • FP
    Jul 4, 2012 - 2:20AM

    Better sence must prevail.

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  • Malangi
    Jul 4, 2012 - 2:22AM

    Do a big mistake and don’t say sorry! Till the sorry get so much value that it becomes the only thing needed! Then say sorry and close the file! – Amreeka

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  • saeed
    Jul 4, 2012 - 2:24AM

    Very well balance sceniro. I think ambassador to US is doing good job

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  • Sarmad
    Jul 4, 2012 - 2:38AM

    “National honour and dignity cannot be measured in terms of money.”

    Oh you gotta be kidding me! There is a price in war.. that is the price america needs to pay as we pay the price of bomb blasts and suicide attacks in our country. Not only are we lowlife for allowing them nato routes but also a CHEAP SELL!

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  • True Muslim Paki
    Jul 4, 2012 - 2:44AM

    “National honour and dignity cannot be measured in terms of money.”

    This is rubbing salt…. :(. At least stop making these kind of statements! We had seen Raymond Davis episode, Abbottabad …

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  • Syme
    Jul 4, 2012 - 2:48AM

    I welcome the decision of government. Democratic government can bargain her interests better than a dictator. I laud the wisdom of President Zardari.

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  • Fawad
    Jul 4, 2012 - 2:51AM

    This whole thing was a foreign policy defeat for Pakistan. Insisting like children for an apology that means nothing, while sidelining how much benefits they get from the US. It has severely damaged its ties with the US. the US, although needs them now probably until 2014 or something, but they will certainly remember this issue for years. .. . .

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  • MUNIB
    Jul 4, 2012 - 3:07AM

    Whats our new salary ?

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 4, 2012 - 3:22AM

    So what is this charade then? Its always been about Money, sadly nothig else !
    Shame on you all who were making noises for other causes. as the only people who make causes are going to enjoy another gravy train, while sheeps will follow !!!

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  • Arshad Kazmi
    Jul 4, 2012 - 3:40AM

    Its a victory for National Logistic Cell (NLC) with a lion share of 70% revenue US dollar Skka e Rajul Waqat.

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  • imran bhatt
    Jul 4, 2012 - 3:46AM

    Pakistan’s honour and dignity have been sacrificed to safeguard the lives of its vociferous supporters.

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  • Logic Europe
    Jul 4, 2012 - 3:54AM

    A very wise decision in the best interest of Pakistan ,Great stateswomanship by Hina Rabbani
    now let mr khan go and show some gritt and closenthensupply line again Imam sure his bunch of pop singers can do it

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  • Voice
    Jul 4, 2012 - 3:55AM

    Wise move by both sides for prosperity of people….

    Appreciation for Pakistan for not charging Transit fee, it will give a message that Pakistan is equally partner with global community to exterminate the social ills and menace….In addition, this gesture will build a positive stature for Pakistan…will get better access to global market and positive chance to socialize with global community as a responsible actor.

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  • Col Imtiaz
    Jul 4, 2012 - 4:12AM

    Good that an apology has been made , shame it took so long

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  • Babloo
    Jul 4, 2012 - 4:19AM

    It would have been good if Pakistan got some peanuts for opening NATO route. Looks like they could not even bargain for some peanuts in exchange for ghairiat !

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  • K B Kale
    Jul 4, 2012 - 4:33AM

    From the words used in the statement, it sounds more like a ‘regrrt’ than an ‘apology’!
    But “Miya-Bibi razi to sab khush”

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  • Jul 4, 2012 - 9:56AM

    This agreement is a very welcome development for both Pakistan and US. It reinforces yet again what US Ambassador Anne Patterson wrote back on Sept 23, 2009 in a cable leaked by Wikileaks.

    She said, “The Pakistani establishment, as we saw in 1998 with nuclear test, does not view assistance-even sizable assistance to their entities-as trade-off for national security”.

    http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/04/is-pakistan-americas-biggest-problem.html

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  • Ghulam farid
    Jul 4, 2012 - 8:26PM

    I discourage the restoration of supply rouetes

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  • Bilal
    Jul 6, 2012 - 8:13AM

    One must know the value of national integrity & mustn’t auction it.

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  • Jul 7, 2012 - 1:53PM

    Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Nowadays, it is the first resort of the hypocrite – Dr Samuel Johnson

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