Pak Parliament Approved PCNS Recommendations Unanimously
By Zaheerul Hassan
On 13 August 2012, Pakistan Parliament unanimously passed Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) recommendations on Pak-US relations despite. The credit goes to political and military leadership who took stands and provided the basis to the foreign office for revisiting Pakistan Foreign policy. Although, masses openly welcomed the parliamentarian move with regards to the Pak-US relations but at same time do have genuine reservations over the Implementations of under discussion proposals because of the past history of the government with regards to earlier resolutions of the parliament.
The new recommendations are; (one) Pakistani territory including its airspace shall not be used for transportation for arms and ammunition to Afghanistan,(two), All verbal agreements or understandings regarding national security shall cease to have effect forthwith,(three) No security contractors or intelligence operatives shall be allowed,(four) Pakistan should actively pursue the gas pipeline projects with Iran and Turkmenistan, (five) The activity of foreign private security contractors must be transparent and subject to Pakistani law,(six) Any use of Pakistani bases or foreign forces would require parliamentary approval, (seven) Reopening of Nato supply routes must be contingent upon thorough revision of terms and conditions of the agreement,(eight) Any verbal agreement that exists should be converted into written immediately, failing which it shall cease to have effect within three months of approval of these recommendations,(nine) Government of Pakistan should revisit MoUs between Ministry of Defence and United Kingdom dated June 19, 2002,(ten) New terms and conditions for Acquisition and Cross-Servicing agreement dated: February 09, 2002 between USA and Pakistan may be renegotiated,(eleven) New transit facility/agreement should be immediately suspended in case of violation of Pakistan territorial integrity by US/Nato/Isaf forces,(twelve) There should be prior permission on number and presence of foreign intelligence operatives in Pakistan,(thirteen) Fifty per cent (50%) of US/Nato containers may be handled through Pakistan Railways, (fourteen) Pakistan should actively pursue gas pipeline project with Iran.
However, 13-member bipartisan, bicameral committee headed by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) stalwart Senator Raza Rabbani almost deliberated for more than three weeks to prepare revised recommendations after the previous draft was rejected by the PML-N and JUI-F last month. The committee finally remained successful in getting the recommendations passed from joint session of parliament.
In fact, parliament did not give comments over the NATO resuming of supply which is the main concern of US and its NATO’S allies since opposition and government probably agreed that they should not use parliament for such a decision and instead issue an administrative order if it wanted to do so. Pakistan should connect the issue of opening of supply routes with the unconditional US apology and financial compensation to the victims of Slala Check Post. Government should give clear message to her forces that any drone violating our boundaries should be shot down. In this connection PCNS had asked the ministry of defence and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to formulate new flying rules for the areas close to Afghan border. The recommendations also included the earlier call for an unconditional apology for Nato air strikes in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in Mohmand Agency. The committee also asked America to punish officials who allegedly perpetrated the attack. Thus, it would not wrong in saying that Pakistani political and military brass behaved maturely over the issue of Pak-US ties while providing bases for future relations with US. Mr. Raza Razbbani head of committee truly translated the core essence of Pak foreign policy while saying, “We want to proactively engage with our international partners. Our resolve to combat extremism and terrorism remains unshakeable,”
Nevertheless, the committee’s recommendations are true reflection of masses opinion will help in diminishing US role in South Asian region.
However American leadership will try to negotiate with Pakistani counterpart on the issue of future relationship in prevailing geo political and security environment. The results of recommendations will only be fruitful if Pakistani government remains steadfast and give priority to own national interests.