Saturday, May 19, 2012

Defense Of Pakistan Council starts a Long March on May 25 against reopening NATO supply lines


دفاع پاکستان کونسل کے منصورہ میں ہونے والے اجلاس میں فیصلہ کیا گیا ہے کہ پچیس مئی کو ملک بھر میں نیٹو سپلائی بحالی کے خلاف احتجاجی مظاہرے کیے جائیں گے جبکہ ستائیس مئی سے کراچی سے اسلام آباد کی طرف لانگ مارچ شروع کیا جائے گا۔ یہ لانگ مارچ ان شاء اللہ بڑے پیمانے پر عوامی بیداری کا باعث بنے گا اور اس کے 
ذریعے امریکہ کے بڑھتے ہوئے قدموں اور نیٹو سپلائی کو روکنے میں مدد ملے گی

The Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC) Saturday announced a Long-March on May 25 against reopening NATO supply lines.

NATO, Afghanistan And The Pakistan Supply Line: A Question Of Legitimacy

Defense and security analyst Dr. Shireen M. Mazari provides a unique perspective on three questions facing Pakistani policymakers in May 2012:
  1. Are NATO pressures on Pakistan to reopen the overland supply routes legitimate under international law? Will Pakistan violate any laws if does not grant NATO this permission?
  2. Does it serve Pakistani interests to allow NATO to transport war supplies and weapons through Pakistan to Afghanistan?
  3. Will Pakistan benefit from participation in NATO’S 25th summit meeting in Chicago?
Referring to UN Charter and NATO’s own laws, Mazari concludes NATO is not mandated by UN resolutions to be in Afghanistan.
She reveals how some NATO member diplomats ‘sneaked’ the organization into ISAF, which was originally assigned by UNSC to establish security and peace in Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent use of force against Afghanistan.
Mazari explains that, by blocking or ending the NATO supply lines, Pakistan does not violate international conventions governing transit access to landlocked states.
According to the same rules, it is the government of Afghanistan that should request Pakistan to allow third-country supplies to pass through Pakistan and this has not happened yet. Moreover, any supplies passing through Pakistani land or air corridors cannot include weapons.
Then there is the question of NATO violations of Pakistani border and the deliberate murder of Pakistani soldiers on several occasions.
Recent world history does not offer any example of a state allowing weapons to pass through its territory to be used against it later, says Dr. Mazari.


Pakistan adamant on Salala stance

Pakistan Ambassador to US Sherry Rehman has refuted the impression that Pakistan had deviated the position of demanding apology from the US on the Salala firing incident.

“We have not stepped back from any of our demands. Foreign Office has issued a very clear statement that we will continue to press for apology for the 24 martyred soldiers in every meeting and diplomatic engagement with US. We have neither compromised on it, neither have done anything to indicate that only the US is furthering its gains”, she said in an interview with a private news channel.

She said Pakistan’s participation in the forthcoming Nato summit in Chicago would ensure that it is not in international isolation. Pakistan, she said, has always had a role in the region and the summit presented an opportunity to redefine it.

This unconditional invitation to Pakistan is a very positive development. We don’t want interference in Afghanistan, but want to support peaceful security transition, which can also bring stability in Pakistan”, she said.

“We must remember what we faced in 1990s in terms of refugee crisis, Pakistan changed a lot because of that. Our attitude and actions should always be for Afghan internal and sovereign process, which is a democratic process of national building. We should support that and not play a role, in terms of supporting any particular group”, she pointed out while recalling the tumultuous years after the soviet withdrawal in Afghanistan that also resulted in the US leaving Pakistan on its own. “We were absent from the global stage for the last 4-5 months on the Afghan issue, so we should have accepted this invitation”, she asserted.

Pakistan, she recalled, had decided against attending Bonn Conference because it was not long after Salala incident. “However, this Nato summit is happening at a time when our discussions with Afghanistan are ongoing too and core group involving Pakistan, Afghanistan and US just recently met in Islamabad.

Therefore, it’s a continuation of that where we can play our constructive role for Afghanistan because it is mostly about them. If we are already involved at a smaller level, we ought to remain engaged at such higher forum too”, she stressed.

The Ambassador said that Pakistan would have been seen as playing a spoiler’s role, in case it decided to stay away from the Nato summit. “We are improving relations with India, so these are very important strategic shifts. We have to adopt a good neighbour policy vis-a-vis Afghanistan too. Relationship between President Karzai and President Zardari is much improved as compared to the previous regime, so we must take these diplomatic and political initiative”, she firmly said.

She said that the US officials were talking about their national interest while Pakistan was focusing on its own interests. “Every country watches its interest. Pakistan has never kept a superpower like the US on hold for four months, which should be given due consideration”, she stated while referring to the extensive exercise in the Parliament that reviewed the relationship with the United States in its entirety after tensions peaked after Salala tragedy.

Sherry, though, insisted that despite waiting for the Parliamentary review to complete, Pakistan had never been stubborn. However, the country would have been at a losing end in case it decided to skip a vital forum like the Nato summit, she believed while using the example of a fast running train to support her argument. “If there is a train running (with every country on board) and Pakistan is not part of it, then who is the loser of course, us”, she said.

When asked if she had any indications from her interactions with the US officials that they were ready to concede to Pakistani demands, she denied that there was any point scoring going on during negotiation. “It s not a matter of conceding or not conceding. The result of negotiations and any final outcome has to be with transparency”, she mentioned adding that the reports of Pakistan demanding immediate release of outstanding coalition support funds (CSF) before the impending budget did not have any basis.

There is no such timeline for demand of CSF. It is not like our budget will not be made without this money. We have not linked it to budget and neither can you gain any leverage from such linkages during negotiations. We want to be seen as a positive, constructive, international force in the region. We have taken a big stand on our sovereignty, which is a very important position for our public that Pakistan values and protects its sovereignty”, she reasoned.

“In the context of the situation in the region, we will have to take each step very carefully. We do look to take a moderate stance instead of extreme ones, but can’t compromise on national interest”, she made clear and believed that negotiations with the US were on the right track. “We will want our interest in all negotiations and they will do the same. It takes time and patience is required, but we can hope that these developments and negotiations move forward on a positive note”, she hoped.

Sherry agreed that the Nato conference in Chicago, although, was not bilateral, but it did have symbolic value. “Certainly there is symbolic value that Pakistan and US relationship, which we want to be forged on mutual self respect, should be like that”, she opined. She also said that terrorism was an internal issue for Pakistan and if the world was coming forward to assist the country to combat it, all such help should be availed. “You always need political and diplomatic support for it. I have always believed that we need to be globally responsible regional player”, she pointed out.
TheNews

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