PCNS to discuss fallout of NATO attack today
ISLAMABAD: The top parliamentary body on national security will hold deliberations about the terms of engagement with the United States in the backdrop of the NATO air strike on November 26 in a meeting, scheduled to be held today (Monday).
The Parliament’s National Security Committee, which is also looking into the memogate scandal, will take up the situation arising from the NATO strike in Mohmand Agency and the subsequent blockage of NATO supply routes to allied forces in Afghanistan.
The committee’s meeting is also significant considering the immense US pressure for resumption of supply routes to its forces in Afghanistan, an issue that the government has asked the committee to decide about.
Interior Minister Rahman Malik recently said that the government would take a decision regarding NATO supplies passing through the country on the basis of recommendations of the committee.
Twenty-four Pakistani soldiers were killed on November 26, when NATO helicopter gunships attacked their border posts in Mohmand Agency. The killing triggered an outrage in the country and the government decided to cut off NATO supply routes. It also boycotted an international conference that focused on Afghanistan’s future and directed the US to vacate the key Shamsi airbase that was used to launch drone strikes.
According to official sources, the chances of supply routes reopening are remote. However, they added that persistent US pressure would require the government to find some way out from the current impasse over this issue.
Sources added that discussions had already started about imposing a tax on all the NATO supplies passing through Pakistan and that it would also come up during the national security committee meeting.
Sources said that apart from NATO supplies, there is a strong chance that the memogate scandal will also feature prominently during the deliberations of the committee, which has continuously been holding meetings on this particular issue.
The memogate scandal has pitted the country’s two largest political parties, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), against each after the PML-N took the matter to the Supreme Court.