Pakistani MPs oppose NATO arms transportation via its territory
The Pakistani parliament Friday formally opened the debate on whether or not to reopen the supply line for the U.S.-led NATO troops in Afghanistan and the majority of lawmakers urged the government not to allow transportation of arms and ammunition to foreign forces, Xinhua reported.
All parliamentarians who took part in the debate demanded the United States to stop drone attacks and respect Pakistan's sovereignty.
The U.S. has so far rejected Pakistani calls to halt drone strikes and even fired missiles into North Waziristan tribal region on Friday and killed at least four people.
The opposition members of parliament also called for a mechanism to search all NATO trucks to check what the vehicles are carrying for NATO forces via Pakistan.
Pakistan closed the supply line in November 2011 after the U.S. fighter jets raided two of its border posts and killed 24 soldiers.
The government called for a parliamentary review of relationship with the U.S. and also to decide on the NATO supply line.
Deputies from the Islamic groups strongly opposed the reopening of the NATO supply line while members of the treasury benches said that only food items could be allowed for foreign troops in Afghanistan.
Mushahid Hussain Sayyed, a senator from the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) party taking part in the debate said that the U.S. drone attacks should not be allowed at any cost and Pakistan should take responsibility for its territory.
About supply to foreign forces in Afghanistan, he categorically said that supply of ammunitions through NATO containers should be strictly banned while Pakistan should talk to the United States regarding supply of other things to the NATO.
He criticized what he called the U.S "double standard" regarding establishment of peace in Afghanistan while bombing Pakistan's territory and preparing itself to fight with Iran.
He said Pakistan would strongly oppose the U.S. use of force against Iran. "We have to ensure that our relations with our neighbors, particularly Afghanistan and Iran are not spoiled," he said.
Maulana Abdul Malik, a member of the National Assembly from the tribal region, said that NATO supply should be halted at any cost.
Maulana Khan Muhammad Sheerani, a lawmaker from Balochistan province, said that the concept of terrorism was introduced by imperialist forces to achieve their hidden agenda. He said that the so-called war on terrorism has created more conflict zones in the world and promote violence. He also opposed restoration of the NATO supply line.
Taking part in the discussion, Senator Saeed Ghani of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party said that it is the first government in the democratic history of the country which brings foreign policy in the parliament in order to frame it according to aspirations of the people.
The parliamentarians were unanimous in calling on the government to adopt an independent foreign policy, resist foreign pressure on issues of national interests and cement relations with all neighbors.