Friday, April 27, 2012

Talks Resume on Transit of War Supplies through Pakistan

Photo by Anjum Naveed (AP) Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani (2nd Right) meeting with U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman (2nd left) in Islamabad on Thursday 26 April.

Marc Grossman is in Pakistan for the first time since US forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in a cross border attack last November. The US has been unwilling to suspend drone attacks into Pakistan, one of the key demands before ground transit of NATO and US war supplies to Afghanistan can resume.

AP reports on the meeting yesterday.
“He said he didn't expect to get an immediate commitment that the routes would reopen but that "the task now is to begin a conversation about how to move forward." Grossman also repeated earlier U.S. statements of regret but didn't apologize.

Washington wants the supply routes open before a May 20-21 summit of NATO leaders in Chicago.”
Here is a review of the Pakistani demands.
"After weeks of debate, the Parliament of Pakistan has unanimously endorsed a list of demands to guide discussions with the United States.

The paper, drafted by the national security service, is the latest step in redefining ground rules after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed by US airstrikes in a November cross border attack.

The result is a series of comprehensive demands, including an official apology for the killing of the Pakistani soldiers, an end to CIA drone strikes, and a ban on the transport of US/NATO weapons and ammunition thru Pakistan to the war in Afghanistan.

There is a prohibition on overt or covert military operations in the country, a ban on private contractors and a call on the government to pursue a natural gas pipeline with Iran.

This level of engagement by Parliament is really a demand for transparency. Claiming oversight responsibilities with the demand that no verbal agreements regarding national security be entered by the government.

If these demands are met, the US/NATO supply lines – for food and fuel – would be opened. The demands are non-binding and must be approved by senior US and Pakistani officials.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Afghanistan 101 is a blog of the American Friends Service Committee
215-241-7000 ·