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‘Nato supply resumption question’

May 31, 2012

THIS is with reference to Moez Mobeen and Dr Nida Shami’s letters regarding the ‘NATO supply resumption question’ (May 25). NATO supplies have been blocked by Pakistan for quite some time now. The US has neither apologised for the Salala incident nor has there been any reduction in drone attacks.

The US is already thinking of punishing Pakistan by cutting its aid. The 33-year imprisonment for Dr Shakil Afridi, who helped the US in locating the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, has hastened that process.

As a result, the US has withheld an aid of $33 million to this country on an immediate basis. This is blatant interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs. The opening of the NATO route is a tricky issue for the government. All religious parties have threatened in the strongest terms to stage widespread protests if the route was opened. Drone attacks are also continuing as usual. So, the government is in a difficult situation.

This is also the budget season for Pakistan. Its annual budget is going to be announced within a few days’ time. The kitty of the government is empty. It doesn’t have cash to pay for the circular debt to give any respite to the people by easing the menace of loadshedding. If further aid is cut by the US, Pakistan’s economy will be in dire straits.

In view of the above, the government should take a pragmatic view of the whole situation regarding the NATO route and decide whatever is best for the country.

AIR CDRE (R) AZFAR A KHAN Rawalpindi