Setting tough conditions for re-engagement with the United States, a Pakistani Parliamentary commission on Tuesday demanded an end to CIA-operated drone strikes and a civil nuclear deal similar to the Indo-US agreement besides 38 other demands.
Asking the US to “review its footsteps in Pakistan”, the panel report was put forth as the Pakistani Parliament began a crucial joint sitting to debate the recommendations for a revamp of the country’s foreign policy and ties with the US.
The joint session of the senate and national assembly, summoned by President Asif Ali Zardari, will debate 40 recommendations framed by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security in the wake of a cross-border Nato air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.
Unveiling the recommendations in Parliament, the committee’s chief Raza Rabbani said the “US must review its footsteps in Pakistan”.
He added: “This means cessation of drone attacks inside Pakistan, no hot pursuit or boots on Pakistani territory and the activity of foreign private security contractors must be subject to Pakistani law”.
The parliamentary panel’s recommendations contended that there could be no compromise on Pakistan’s nuclear programme and assets, including their safety and security.
The recommendations further claimed that the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement had “significantly altered strategic balance in the region”.
“Therefore, Pakistan should seek from the US and others a similar treatment/facility. The strategic position of Pakistan vis-a-vis India on the subject of Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty must not be compromised and this principle be kept in view in negotiations on this matter,” Rabbani said.
“Pakistan should be given assurances that such attacks or any other attacks impinging on Pakistan’s sovereignty will not reoccur and that Nato/ISAF/US will take effective measures to avoid any such violations,” the recommendations said.
“Any use of Pakistani bases or airspace by foreign forces would require parliamentary approval” and Pakistan’s defence ministry and ISAF, Nato and US should “draft new flying rules for areas contiguous to the border”, the recommendations said.
Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership have held two meetings to review the recommendations. The issue has also been reviewed separately by the military top brass.