As President Zardari left for Chicago on Friday to attend a two-day NATO-summit, the absence of army chief General Kayani from his delegation has led to speculation that the army is distancing itself from publicly supporting resumption of NATO supplies through Pakistan.
Earlier, the Parliamentary Committee on Defence in which the army leadership was included, recommended the resumption of overland NATO supplies through Pakistan. These were stopped after a NATO attack on a Pakistani check post in Novermber 2011 in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed.
However, the US has placed intense pressure on Pakistan to resume overland movement of NATO supplies, even threatening Islamabad with economic sanctions and a cut off on payments if it continues to deny permission. Within Pakistan, however, the opposition is united in its call that the supplies not be re-allowed.
“We are not at all in favour of a resumption of supplies. We do not want to be part of any move that allows this,” Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, leader of the opposition in the parliament, told reporters earlier this week. Nisar's party - the PML-N says it will support demonstrations against the government if it gives permission.
Already, the Pakistan Difa Council, a collection of religious and militant organizations, have said that they will indulge in street agitation if NATO supplies are resumed.