In November the attack on Salala airbase had forced Pakistan Military to demand an apology from the US. The military was insistent that NATO supply that had been discontinued as a result of Salala attack would not be instituted, till explanation is sought. The government and Foreign Minister have claimed that US Foreign Minister had sent a personal apology for the incident and NATO supply has initiated after 6 months.
For a country like ours that depends on foreign aid, do you think disengaging a pact is conducive? What is your overall view on the situation?
The exact nature of the pact between the two countries is yet not known. Encouraging thing is that the issue surfaced in the parliament. The opposition and establishment both had an opportunity to give input on the matter. Had it been presented in the cabinet no such involvement would have taken place. It has been promised that the written agreement between the countries will be shown in the parliament. I feel this is a very positive step taken by the government as no such initiative was taken after the events of 9/11.
There have been varying statements given by officials regarding the apology extended by the US authorities. Even though I believe what Hina Rabbani Khar says about the apology, the nation would appreciate if Hillary Clinton personally owns the apology.
I believe that if parliament passes a resolution it would not be too effective. The actual decision will lie with the parliamentary committee to assess if the contract is in agreement with the resolution. No matter what the parliament decides the final ratification of the resolution will lie with the cabinet, which will not involve the opposition. I did not speak on behalf of the parliamentary committee because of this reason.
The question that ails is the query of what our end game would be. Would the structure decided upon, by NATO and America be conducive for our country? My speculation is to spot where/if the situation is benefiting us. Till the exact nature of the agreement between our government and NATO is explained, it feels like we haven’t gained anything.
I would also like to add that Salala incident was a torment to the nation and came as a shock but was this the appropriate time to review the policy decided in context to 9/11? I believe it wasn’t It would have been better for the government to determine new terms of engagement rather that redesigning the policy.
Source: Doosra Pehlu, With Mujahid Barelvi- CNBC – 04 July 2012;