The Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) which met under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf today at Prime Minister's House decided to reopen the Ground Lines of Communication through Pakistani territory to and from Afghanistan to facilitate the transition and the subsequent transformation process in that country.
The DCC also decided that no lethal cargo will go into Afghanistan except equipment for Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), essential for ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The DCC reconfirmed that Pakistan will continue not to charge any transit fee but the issue in the first place was not of financial gains but of the principle of sovereignty.
The DCC reaffirmed that it will continue to be guided by the recommendations of the Parliament in future as well.
After the unfortunate incident of Salala, last year on 26th November, 2011, the DCC took the following decisions:
a.Asked for vacation of Shamsi Base.
b.Blocked the Ground Lines of Communication (GLOCs) through Pakistani territory to Afghanistan.
These decisions were dictated by Pakistan's principled stance on the issue of sovereignty, which should be respected at all costs and in accordance with the United Nations Charter and international law.
The Foreign Minister briefed the DCC on recent discussions with senior US officials on the resetting of the Pakistan-US relationship in line with the Parliamentary recommendations.
The DCC stressed that it was in Pakistan's interest to support the transition and the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan as NATO/ISAF forces drawdown by 2014. To enable a smooth transition in Afghanistan it was essential for the military drawdown at a lower cost and through an efficient transit facility.
The DCC further noted that, in view of our larger objective of peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region and also our cooperative relations with the 50 member states of NATO/ISAF, Pakistan wanted to facilitate the transition process and help enable Afghanistan's national institutions to exercise full sovereignty over their country.
The DCC reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to the elimination of terrorism for the sake of a secure future for Pakistan. The DCC further reiterated Pakistan's stance on drones and agreed to continue to engage the US on counter-terrorism cooperation and counter-terrorism tools that are in line with international law and practice.
The DCC stressed that, as recommended by the Parliament, Pakistan's future relations with the US must be based on mutual respect and mutual interest and conducted in a transparent manner.
The meeting was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister, the Ministers for Finance, Foreign Affairs, Defence Production and Information and Broadcasting, Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister on Interior, Chairman JCSC, three Services Chiefs, DG ISI and DG IB
Official Statement: Pakistan on Tuesday night announced to reopen route for NATO supply to Afghanistan after United States apologised for killing of its 24 troops in an attack on Salala check post on November 26, 2011.
Briefing newsmen after meeting of Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC), Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira here s...aid DCC decided to open the supply route after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed apology for the incident.
The DCC meeting chaired by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf was attended by key federal ministers and chiefs of armed services.
The Minister said Pakistan has welcomed Secretary Clinton's apology over the Salala issue. "Today the US showed softness in its stance and accepted our principled stance over the issue. We appreciate this decision which is not anyone's victory or defeat," Kaira said.
He said Pakistan decided to cooperate with NATO with a view to maintain peace and stability in Afghanistan.
As was in the past, Pakistan will also not charge transit fee for the supply route, he added.
To a question, he said transit fee is not a financial issue and it has been decided in principle that Pakistan would not charge any fee for NATO supply as it was a matter of national honour and dignity.
"National honour and dignity cannot be measured in terms of money."
The Information Minister said only necessary items would be allowed inside Afghanistan for NATO, ISAF and Afghan forces.
The Minister said Pakistan closed NATO supply route and got vacated Shamsi airbase after the US attack on Salala check post.
The government negotiated with the US in line with the recommendations of the Parliament, which is reflective of the aspirations of people, he added.
He said Pakistan has made it clear that it will not allow the US to transport lethal weapons to Afghanistan.
He reiterated that the drone attacks should be stopped as these are violation of sovereignty of Pakistan and international laws.
The Minister said that talks about stoppage of drone attacks are going on with the US.
Kaira said the US has been told that Salala like attacks should not happen again and they should respect Pakistan's sovereignty.
He said the US has assured Pakistan that there will no repeat of Salala like incidents in future, he added
He said Pakistan like a responsible nation wanted to eradicate terrorism from the region and wanted to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the region as well.
A stable and peaceful Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan and the region, he added.
To a question, he said, "Pakistan does not want clash with a super power like the US and more than 50 countries of NATO, with whom we have also good relations."
To another question about Coalition Support Fund (CSF), Kaira said CSF was not an assistance to Pakistan but the amount which the country had already spent on fight against terrorism.
During the DCC meeting, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar informed about her negotiations with the US administration.
This morning, I spoke by telephone with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.
I once again reiterated our deepest regrets for the tragic incident in Salala last November. I offered our sincere condolences to the families of the Pakistani soldiers who lost their lives. Foreign Minister Khar and I acknowledged th...e mistakes that resulted in the loss of Pakistani military lives. We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military. We are committed to working closely with Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent this from ever happening again.
As I told the former Prime Minister of Pakistan days after the Salala incident, America respects Pakistan's sovereignty and is committed to working together in pursuit of shared objectives on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect.
In today's phone call, Foreign Minister Khar and I talked about the importance of taking coordinated action against terrorists who threaten Pakistan, the United States, and the region; of supporting Afghanistan's security, stability, and efforts towards reconciliation; and of continuing to work together to advance the many other shared interests we have, from increasing trade and investment to strengthening our people-to-people ties. Our countries should have a relationship that is enduring, strategic, and carefully defined, and that enhances the security and prosperity of both our nations and the region.
The Foreign Minister and I were reminded that our troops – Pakistani and American – are in a fight against a common enemy. We are both sorry for losses suffered by both our countries in this fight against terrorists. We have enhanced our counter-terrorism cooperation against terrorists that threaten Pakistan and the United States, with the goal of defeating Al-Qaida in the region.
In addition, I am pleased that Foreign Minister Khar has informed me that the ground supply lines (GLOC) into Afghanistan are opening. Pakistan will continue not to charge any transit fee in the larger interest of peace and security in Afghanistan and the region. This is a tangible demonstration of Pakistan's support for a secure, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan and our shared objectives in the region. This will also help the United States and ISAF conduct the planned drawdown at a much lower cost. This is critically important to the men and women who are fighting terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Khar has informed me that, consistent with current practice, no lethal equipment will transit the GLOC into Afghanistan except for equipping the ANSF. In concluding the call, I reiterated our deep appreciation to the Government and the people of Pakistan for their many sacrifices and their critical contribution to the ongoing fight against terrorism and extremism.
امریکہ کی جانب سےگزشتہ برس سلالہ حملے پاکستانی فوجیوں کی ہلاکت پر معذرت کے بعد پاکستانی کابینہ کی دفاعی کمیٹی نے نیٹو کو زمینی راستے سے رسد کی فراہمی کی بحالی کا فیصلہ کیا ہے۔-دفاعی کمیٹی نے فیصلہ کیا ہے کہ پاکستان کی سرزمین سے افغانستان میں بین الاقوامی فوج کے لیے رسد لے جانے کی اجازت ہے۔ تاہم نیٹو رسد میں مہلک سامان بھیجنے کی اجازت نہیں ہو گی ماسوائے وہ سامان جو افغان نیشنل سکیورٹی فورسز کے لیے ہو۔دفاعی کمیٹی نے فیصلہ کیا ہے کہ نیٹو رسد سے راہداری فیس نہیں لی جائے گی۔ 'اس سے یہ بات ثابت ہوتی ہے کہ پہلے دن ہی سے ایشو مالی فائدے کا نہیں تھے بلکہ خومختاری کے اصولی فیصلے کا تھا۔
I acknowledged the mistakes, Sorry, Deepest Regrets, Sincere Condolences for Salala- Hilary Clinton