ISLAMABAD: The Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) will meet today (Tuesday) to give a green signal to reopen Nato supply routes and streamline other bilateral matters with the US after successful meetings between Pakistan and the United States, the last one chaired by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and including US Undersecretary of State Thomas Nydes. At the military level also, successful talks took place in Rawalpindi between Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the International Security Assistance Force Commander in Afghanistan General John Allen.
The DCC meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and attended by heads of all three forces, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, DG ISI as well as federal ministers of Defence, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Finance and Information ministries.
“There have been significant developments and both sides have made efforts to normalise relations, which is why the government called a meeting of the DCC as quickly as possible,” the Foreign Office spokesman said.Pakistan says that all meetings have been ‘positive’ and ‘progress’ has been made. The US also terms these meetings “very productive.”
“The DCC is taking place because there has been progress between Pakistan and the United States and after more than seven months we can say that there are no great obstacles left now and Tuesday should see Pakistan coming up with an announcement. All matters including an apology from the US, resumption of Nato supply lines, assurances that a Salala type of border attack would not be repeated, final outcome of new conditions of transit fees and surcharge and cessation of drone attacks have been discussed,” said a senior official privy to the Pak-US meetings.
However, in Karachi, Ameer Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Hafiz Muhammad Saeed termed Pakistan’s decision of a strategic partnership with the US wrong, adding that most of the problems and troubles the country was facing today were an outcome of this partnership. Addressing a convention of leaders of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) Hafiz Muhammad Saeed said that the DPC would resist any step by the government regarding reopening of Nato supplies. The Nato land supply route was closed following the November 26, 2011 attack on the Salala check post by Nato aircraft, which killed and injured Pakistani soldiers.