PTI slams govt for reopening NATO supply route
05 July, 2012
LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday criticised the government for reopening NATO supply routes and bypassing a parliamentary resolution in this regard.
Addressing a press conference, Khan said parliament's recommendations were not kept in view while giving a go ahead for NATO supplies to move into Afghanistan.
"Parliament's recommendations, demanding an unconditional apology over the Salala raid, halt to US drone attacks, $5,000 transit fee per NATO container and assurance for respect of ground and airspace of Pakistan have been bypassed," Khan said.
The PTI chairman said US President Barack Obama had categorically said that the US would continue drone attacks in Pakistan. He said parliament was of no use and it should be dissolved as it had failed to implement its resolutions. He asked if parliament's aim was to protect corruption of President Asif Ali Zardari and its lawmakers.
Khan said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) should clear its position on the government's move because the opposition party was also part of the committee to shape new terms of engagement with the United States.
He said that the PTI had consistently opposed participation in America's war on terror for the last 10 years. He added the PTI's stance stood vindicated as the country had suffered immense losses because of participation in America's war.
"Pakistan has sacrificed most in this war… nearly 40,000 of our citizens and soldiers have died and the country has suffered exorbitant losses worth nearly $70 billion. Despite sacrificing the most, it was surprising that the United States continues to question Pakistan's sincerity in fighting this war and constantly putting pressure on it to do more," the PTI chief said.
"How can our rulers keep telling the people of Pakistan that this is our war when despite sacrificing the most there exists a huge trust deficit and the US does not bother to share information on any high value targets and carries out unilateral strikes in our territory… our judicial system is ridiculed and our allies insist on bypassing our judicial process for their agents who have committed crimes," he said.
Khan stressed that the PTI was not anti-US and did not want any confrontation with it. "But it is a fact that the American public and decision-making bodies now realise the futility of this war. We believe that Pakistan should be ready to facilitate US exit from Afghanistan. This means helping in the dialogue with the Taliban and in any other way that ensures a stable Afghanistan. We are clear that a stable Afghanistan is in Pakistan's interest," he added.
He said the PTI would protest against the government's decision of reopening NATO supply routes. The party would hold its first protest rally against this decision tomorrow in Gujranwala, which would be followed by a protest rally in Peshawar on July 14.
'N' to protest NATO supplies' reopening: Nawaz
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that his party was not taken into confidence on the reopening of NATO supplies and would strongly protest against it.
Talking to our sources on his arrival in the British capital, Nawaz said the US had not apologised for the Salala border post attacks.
He said the opening of the supplies should be conditioned with assurances from the US that there would be no drone attacks in the Tribal Areas, no operations of the kind that took out Osama bin Laden. He said the terms and conditions reached with the US by the government on the issue were unacceptable.
The PML-N chief called for bilateral relations based on mutual respect and equality. On the issue of dual nationality for parliamentarians, he said his party was consulting overseas Pakistanis on the issue, and said no decision should be taken without their input.