Pakistan will Restore Conditional Nato Supply
by Zaheerul Hassan
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has been invited to attend a Chicago conferee. According to President’s spokesman Sectary General of Nato has called President Zardari on Phone and officially invited him for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato).
The invitation comes amid speculations that Pakistan is all set to re-open its ground routes for Nato supplies, which it closed after a cross border attack in Mohmand Agency that killed its 24 soldiers in November last year. Early on May 11, 2012, Nato Secretary Gen Andre Fohg Rasmussen said that Pakistan had not been invited to Nato conference in Chicago.
According to the reliable sources the meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) at Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is in progress. Reportedly, the participants of the said meeting have been agreed to conditional supply of food items and other stuff (less arms and ammunition) to 130000 Nato’s troops deployed in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, on May 14, 2012 Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar while talking to press conference indicated that Pakistan intend to restore the Nato supply suspended six months ago and causing tension between the west and Islamabad. She also stated that Pakistan and the US have divergence in some areas while share views in other areas and “we want to move to some positive zone over all the issues”. Pakistani willingness of restoring of Nato supply reveals that apparently, US and Nato countries remained successful in played dirty tricks of pressurizing Pakistan over the Nato issue instead seeking apology over violating Pakistan sovereignty while attacking Salala Check Post.
I think it was the matter of nerves; Pakistan should take firm stand on the issue of drone attacks, raid on Check Post and should not restore Nato Supply unconditionally. It is mentioned here that if US is serious in improving and normalization of relationship with her former frontline ally of war on terror then she must avail golden chance of seeking apology on Salala Check Post at the occasion of Chicago Conference.
Pakistan should claim tariff for passages of Containers since it badly damaged our infrastructure. At present , a total of 3,676 military vehicles, including military hardware, arms and 1,732 containers belonging to Nato forces are at the port which was suppose to be cargo to Afghanistan. Actually, the discontinuation of supplies has frustrated Nato and U.S has weighed various options of supply of cargo but failed to go for change in supply route since it can bring devastating effects on already crumbling U.S and European economy.
Nevertheless, US and Western countries cannot afford to lost an ally like Pakistan when Osama has been killed last year and Obama has strong desire of leaving the region through clean exit from Afghanistan by 2014 and American masses also demanding of the withdrawal of soldiers back to their sweet homes as early as possible.
Anyhow, attendance of Chicago Conference will also provide a platform to Pakistan for putting across her point of view. At the same time US and Nato countries should have to stop playing dirty tricks against Pakistan. They must acknowledge the sacrifices of Pakistani civilians and security forces. Nato should take steps to share the finical burden of over 80 billions$. Thus we can say that deadlock in Pak-US relations will help in establishing regional peace. Moreover, Washington should know that that no solution to Afghan Conundrum is possible without taking into confidence the main player (Pakistan) of GWOT.
Pakistan should also ask US to release outstanding Coalition Support Fund (CSF) worth $1.2 billion, which has been withheld since December 2010. Government should ensure that restoration of Nato’s supply through Pakistan should not be free of cost. In this connection fresh rule of business has to be evolved and Nato should be asked to pay the taxes for maintaining the infrastructure from Karachi to Pak-Afghan border. US should also be asked to give guarantee of stopping drone attacks, non interference in Balochistan and in Pak-Iran Gas Pipe Line Project.