Pakistani Parliament Unanimously Declares U.S. Must Stop Drone Strikes

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In a joint sitting of the Pakistani parliament on Thursday, the recommendations on the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) regarding new rules of engagement with the United States were unanimously adopted.

However, they still left some of the issues surrounding the critical North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) supply lines into Afghanistan (which, since they have been closed, have caused the price of gasoline to skyrocket up to $400 per gallon) unanswered.

The PCNS’s revised recommendations were presented to the joint session by the committee’s chairman, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani.

He emphasized that the United States should show due respect to Pakistan in honoring their national sovereignty and said that the relationship between Pakistan and the U.S. should be one based on a mutual respect for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The recommendations included 14 points which suggest that the American presence in Pakistan be reviewed and re-examined.

This could very well mean an immediate end to any and all drone strikes in Pakistan, not to mention an end to violations of Pakistani national sovereignty.

This would include an end to all infiltrations, even if it is supposedly done in hot pursuit of insurgents.

Furthermore, it was stated that Pakistani territory and airspace shall not be used in the transportation of munitions to the NATO and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops in Afghanistan.

Yet the report was lacking in explicit recommendations on NATO supplies, which according to Pakistan’s Daily Times is likely due to pressure from opposition parties.

The recommendations from the PCNS also stated that the Pakistani nuclear program, including its assets, safety and security cannot be compromised – something which I believe is a response to the antagonistic approach the West has taken to Iran’s program (which mirrors the Israeli position).

They pointed to the nuclear agreement between the United States and India, which they say has altered the strategic balance in the region. They recommended that Pakistan seek out a similar deal from the U.S. and others.

They also addressed the unprovoked NATO assault on Pakistani border posts in November of last year, calling it a breach of international law and blatant violation of Pakistani sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The joint session said that Pakistan should seek out an unconditional apology from the United States for the incident, but given the fact that the U.S. has already said that they will not charge anyone for the 24 murders, I doubt that the government will go beyond expressing “regret” which means little, if anything at all.

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