Pakistan parliament approves resolution on US ties

Posted By: Pti
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Islamabad, Apr 13: Pakistan's parliament on Thursday, Apr 12 unanimously approved a resolution for resetting the country's strained relations with the US that would pave the way for reopening NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.

The resolution also called for an immediate cessation of American drone strikes and also seeks an apology for the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a NATO air strike last year.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani assured parliament that his government will ensure the implementation of the resolution on new rules of engagement with the US. "Today's resolution will enrich your respect and dignity. I assure you that we will get these enforced in letter and spirit," Gilani said.

He contended that "real and substantive oversight and democratic accountability" had been introduced to the foreign and security policy for the first time.

The resolution was adopted in a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate. The resolution prepared by Parliamentary Committee on National Security underlined 14 recommendations for resetting troubled relations with US and overall foreign policy.

While recommendations focussed mainly on Pakistan's ties with US, NATO and ISAF, but it also mentioned the relationship with India and regional issues.

Through the resolution, Pakistan also sought nuclear agreement from US similar to US-India civil nuclear agreement which it cited that it altered the strategic balance in the region.

The resolution further said Pakistan's strategic position vis-a-vis India on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty "must not be compromised and this principle be kept in view in negotiations".

Also mentioning the kashmir issue, It further said the dialogue process with India "should be continued in a purposeful and result-oriented manner on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interest" and efforts should be made to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN resolutions.

The government had ordered a parliamentary review of relations with the US after the NATO air strike.

Pakistan also closed all NATO supply routes and forced American personnel to vacate Shamsi airbase, considered a hub for CIA-operated drones. Pakistan-US relations stalled while the review was underway.

Gilani explained why the new rules for engagement with US were drawn as "Our partnership cannot be at the cost of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan."

The country is committed to working with the world community to achieve common objectives, he added.

The resolution reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to the elimination of terrorism but demanded a review of what it described as the "US footprint" in the country.

It demanded the "immediate cessation of drone attacks" inside Pakistani territory and "cessation of infiltration into Pakistani territory on any pretext, including hot pursuit".

Pakistani territory and airspace would not be used for transporting arms and ammunition to Afghanistan, the resolution said.


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