Opp bracing for taking to task govt on NATO supplies
07 July, 2012
LAHORE: Though the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) led coalition government has clarified that no secret agreement has been made with the US administration for the restoration of NATO supplies, the opposition parties have decided to exploit the situation to bag sympathies of the 'right wing' elements, who strongly oppose drone attacks in the Tribal Areas.
The opposition parties such as the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), JUI Samiullah group, PPP-Sherpao and Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) have started to pressure government on restoration of NATO supplies.
Political sources told our sources on Friday that the parties in question have no interaction among them, but their think-tanks are working to coordinate with each other to build a 'result-oriented' pressure on the government, which had gotten a new life-line from White House after restoring the NATO supplies. The sources said that different political parties were working to highlight the point of 'secret agreement' between Pakistan and US among the masses through a campaign.
The sources said that the opposition parties wanted kill two birds with one stone by launching a joint campaign against the PPP-led government on the matter of NATO supplies and then with an election campaign against the government allies.
Sources further said that a joint forum would also support them to enhance pressure on the government to hold early elections, as it was their demand that NATO supplies should have not been restored until stoppage of drone attacks in the Tribal Areas.
PPP-S chief Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, who is also against the NATO supply restoration, has demanded the government make public the 'secret agreement' which it had signed with the US.
The DPC has already announced holding of a long-march from Lahore to Islamabad to protest the restoration of NATO supplies while PTI chief Imran Khan has also announced protests across the country on the issue. On the other hand, PML-N, the major opposition party in parliament, is also against the opening of NATO supply route and is closing ranks with the right wing parties, sources added.
The US has announced to release $1.1 billion for Pakistan after reopening of NATO supply routes as part of the Coalition Support Fund.
Washington has also decided to impart knowledge of NATO services and its special contributions in the world, especially in the developing countries by engaging people of these countries in general and Pakistan in particular. In this connection, a special programme has been formulated to arrange visits of Pakistanis to NATO Headquarters and others countries where the NATO operations are in progress. The US Embassy has also planed to arrange a three-day visit of print media representative to NATO Headquarters.