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Parliament to decide fate of Nato supply lines: Kayani

February 13, 2012

Pakistan’s defence budget is only 18 per cent and not 70 per cent: Army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. — Photo by Reuters

JACOBABAD: Pakistan's army chief said on Monday that the fate of Nato supplies to Afghanistan will be decided by the country’s political leadership.

Addressing reporters at the Shahbaz Airbase, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani said that the prime minster had given his clear stance over the issue and that the parliament's defence committee will decide if the key supply line to combat forces in Afghanistan should be re-opened or not.

Referring to the army's operation in tribal areas, Kayani said that limited force was being used in these areas.

The Pakistan army is criticised for securing a large part of the country's annual budget. Kayani, however, clarified that the country’s defence budget was only 18 per cent and not 70 per cent.

"Out of this 18 per cent, army's share is 8.5 per cent," he added.

Kayani welcomed the induction of new fighter planes in Pakistan’s fleet, saying "the move will strengthen our defence."

Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman on the occasion said that the Shahbaz Airbase was under their complete control.

Another senior Pakistan Air Force (PAF) official told journalists that air bases in Pasni and Jacobabad were under use of Americans during 2002-2004.

He said that Pakistan had the capability of bringing down drones being operated by the United Stated in the tribal areas, but the policy and decision rests with the parliament.