Resuming Nato supply and diplomacy

Published Jul 11, 2012 12:15am

The reopening of Nato supply routes is neither a victory nor defeat of Pakistan or the US. We can definitely call it the victory of the principled stand which Pakistan took after the Salala incident.

It’s very unfortunate that American lawmakers, media and even high officials misread Pakistan and levelled baseless allegations.

Instead of appreciating, The Wall Street Journal wrote that it’s not a diplomatic victory for Pakistan, the US didn’t apologise, Pakistan agreed on the old transit fee and no importance was given to Pakistan’s demands.

It also negated US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta’s earlier statement that Pakistan had raised the entire issue to ‘price gouge’.

On the other hand, American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appreciated Pakistan’s decision and said that Pakistan didn’t press for the fee issue.

The killing of 24 soldiers by its own ally was beyond comprehension not only of Pakistanis but the whole world. The matter could have been solved within no time by accepting the mistake and saying a very beautiful five-letter word ‘sorry.’ But, unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

Pakistan took the right decision of blocking the supplies because had it not done the same there might have been many more Salala type incidents. Moreover, the unified stand by the democratic government, people of Pakistan and the army forced the other side to reconsider its actions and understand ground realities. At last Pakistan’s principled stand was understood and finally the issue was resolved.

Pakistan is helping the Isaf forces, which are operating against terrorists at a very high cost in men and material. The reopening of supply routes is not for any single country but for the Nato forces and Afghanistan.

Nato countries, Muslim states, China, and the world at large have appreciated the accord.

Since the endgame has started, we need to move very carefully on international forums. We need to play an active role for ensuring a peaceful transition of power to the Afghans and work for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. We must guard our national interests and stand united.

BILAL SHAHID Rawalpindi

Damaged relations THE opening of the Ground Lines of Communication (GLOC) after obtaining US apology on Salala is rational and based on logic. The US has accepted the new terms of engagement and it is pointless to show signs of disrespect to the government’s decision.

It was the government’s decision to block GLOC and now the government has decided to open it so what is the fuss about?

The armed forces have no choice except to stand with the constitutional obligations. Opening of the route would help an early withdrawal of the US-led forces from Afghanistan and some respite in drone attacks. Pakistan will get the balance of coalition support fund of 1.1 billion dollars. This would also help in repairing the damaged relations with the superpower.

Let this be stated clearly that the military and civil society are on the same track and the army fully backs the government’s decision. The opposition needs to adopt a rational approach on the issue instead of politicising it.

MUKHTAR AHMED BUTT Karachi


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