ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties in the National Assembly have decided to present a joint stance based on consensus on the recommendations forwarded by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) regarding Nato supplies resumption and Pakistan-US ties.
Opposition leaders got together on Saturday for a joint meeting at Jamiat-i-Ulema-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s residence in Lahore.
Speaking to the media, the JUI-F chief said the opposition will try to ensure that the parliament’s resolutions are actually implemented. “The parliament will form a policy based on consensus regarding Pak-US relations,” he said.
“We also need to be assured that the resolution drafted during the All Parties’ Conference should be implemented,” he added.
The meeting was attended by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Ishaq Dar, central leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Likeminded Saleem Saifullah, Pakistan People’s Party – Sherpao chief Aftab Sherpao, and other opposition leaders.
Nisar, who was speaking to the media alongside Fazlur Rehman, said that it was agreed in the joint parliamentary session that a strategy would be set based on consensus. The resolution on resumption on Nato supplies should be unanimously passed by Parliament, he added.
“We will not allow the parliamentary session to be ‘hijacked’ in any way,” said the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leader. The government will have to “persuade the opposition as well on the parliament’s decisions,” he added.
Debate on findings
The parliament will resume its joint session on the resumption of Nato supplies and Pak-US ties on Monday after a five-day hiatus, following which a debate on the PCNS’s recommendations and findings will formally commence.
Pakistani lawmakers had demanded a US apology over the Nato air strikes that killed 24 soldiers in November, leading Islamabad to close supply lines for US forces in Afghanistan.
Parliamentarians had also demanded taxes on Nato convoys and an end to US drone attacks on Pakistani soil which have resulted several civilian deaths.
Top officials in the US will be watching Monday’s debate in parliament with a keen eye. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had welcomed the debate on the US-Pakistan relationship, calling it a “quite significant” development.–Dawn