Nisar raps new ‘secret’ deal with US
ISLAMABAD — Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has taken strong exception to a joint statement issued after talks between US Senator John Kerry and Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership pledging joint action against high profile Al Qaeda and Taleban targets.
Nisar, who is also a leading figure in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, said the new terms of engagement agreed by the two sides during talks with Sen. Kerry are contrary to the letter and spirit of the unanimous resolution passed by the joint session of Parliament in its in-camera session last week.
Nisar demanded that the latest terms be placed before Parliament.
“The PML-N will not allow the government to hold secret meetings and make agreements with the US without taking Parliament into confidence,” he told a news conference. He regretted that within three days of the passage of the unanimous resolution by Parliament against American drone attacks in the tribal areas, the US carried ?out similar raids and Nato helicopters violated Pakistani airspace while US Senator John Kerry was visiting Pakistan.
He said after the violation of the country’s airspace, Nato supply should have been stopped in the light of the resolution.
Nisar held both the government and the armed forces responsible for no action against what he called clear violations of the resolution. He said the PML-N considered the armed forces responsible as they were “guarantors” of the resolution and were required to respond to such actions after the resolution had given them a “complete mandate” to defend the country’s frontiers.
The PML-N leader said his party had come to know through media that the government had agreed on new “terms of engagement” with the US under which both the countries would carry out joint operations against any possible high-value target. “We need an explanation from the government and the armed forces about it. This is unacceptable to us.”
Nisar said that at a time when the country’s armed forces and intelligence agencies were under criticism and pressure “we trusted them”.
Therefore, he said, “the responsibility to protect it (resolution) is with the armed forces because it is they who will have to respond”.
The opposition leader disclosed that he had written a letter to be sent to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani suggesting the names of retired judges, politicians and people from the media and civil society who could be appointed as members of an independent commission to be formed in accordance with the parliamentary resolution to probe the May 2 Abbottabad incident.