The Perceptors Group got together to discuss reopening of route the main points have been provided to this website for publish. This is by no means a study but discussion points and collection of data as annex which would provide base for study. The reopening of the route has triggered a debate in international as well as the local media. The media as a whole and experts appreciate the act of reopening as it carries a win – win situation for Pakistan, Afghanistan, the NATO countries and Americans. However, the analysts , intellectuals and foreign policy experts who have an experience of negotiating such deals have shown their reservations on the procedure adopted to come to this decision which may hamper its implementation in coming days. The public perception is more important to stand with correct state decisions as we enter the implementation stage of the decision. The study aims at pointing out shortfalls as assumed by different people and help identify the gaps to provide an opportunity to bridge them.
The focus of criticism is word SORRY, before time announcement by USA when the DCC meeting was still on, No economic benefit despite damage to infrastructure and Non implementation of recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee including understanding on drones and all Agreements/MoU’s to be in writing and circulated to the Parliamentary Committee. An extract from media is annexed as ‘A’, Statement by Secretary Clinton on her Call With Pakistani Foreign Minister ‘B’ ,Recommendations of Parliamentary Committee at ‘C’ and press briefing by MOFA on issue as ‘D’ under the report. The main issues are discussed under , however the annex will provide a platform to further study and find answers in best National interest:-
- Before time announcement by USA when the DCC meeting was still on and announcement of details like Pak has decided not to charge anything has marginalized DCC decision.
- Diplomatically regret, sympathy, apology, and sorry are four words that involve different connotations. Replacement of apology as listed in Parliamentary Committee recommendations by sorry has not been explained.
- Payments/reimbursements with regard to CSF seem to have got some attention in the statements issued in line with committee recommendations other points are not visible.
- Pakistan’s FM stance that reopening will set good ground for held up negotiations. US, Pakistan and Afghanistan should make strategic and operational decisions by avoiding blame game to avoid incidents like 100 terrorists from Afgn martyred 17 Army personnel. Articles indicating Abu Jandal arrest in India due to USA’s pressure on KSA being perceived as pressures on Pakistan to take this longer pace which has left space to be filled. This has been commented by a critics as rout instead of retreat. Will cross border incursion not be used for action against Haqani Network?
- It is being debated that USA has many leverages but Pakistan’s main lever on negotiating table was supply route and should not have been used to start negotiations. NDN route is not only expensive but has technical and political impediments.
The above may have following implications, if not handled as we move towards implementation.:-
- National Morale
- Negotiations in coming days for post exit Afghanistan
To conclude this critical issue demands further and continuous improvement to fill in the gaps. ADOPT from the new realities, ADAPT to the new environment and IMPROVE in the best national interests.
Pakistan is spinning the deal with the U.S. to reopen NATO supply routes to Afghanistan as a triumph of its diplomacy. But it was Islamabad that climbed down from its extortionate demands and accepted the status quo ante. That’s a big change from previous situations when it was able to extort more aid out of Washington.WSJ
In conveying the apology, Clinton and her top aides worked closely with senior White House and Pentagon officials and carefully calibrated what she would say in her phone call to Khar to avoid an explicit mention of what one top State Department official called “the A-word” ” “apology.” First Post
According to officials, Pakistani army’s chief of staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani pressed his government to resolve the issue, which had put Pakistan at odds with the more than 40 countries with troops in Afghanistan whose supplies were affected. First Post
US, Pakistan and Afghanistan should make strategic and operational conversation to avoid blame game, like 100 mtts from Afgn martyred our 17 Army personnel, so joint cooperation is req to avoid such things(Hinna Rabbani Khar interview to Nasim Zahra)
Statement by Secretary Clinton on her Call With Pakistani Foreign Minister Khar
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
July 3, 2012
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 the 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.
Recommendations that the Committee has made.
- Pakistan’s sovereignty shall not be compromised. The gap between assertion and facts on the ground needs to be qualitatively bridged through effective steps. The relationship with USA should be based on mutual respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of each other.
- The Government needs to ensure that the principles of an independent foreign policy must be grounded in strict adherence to the Principles of Policy as stated in Article 40 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the UN charter and observance of international law. The US must review its footsteps in Pakistan.
This means (i) the cessation of drone attacks inside the territorial borders of Pakistan, (ii) No hot pursuit or boots on Pakistani territory and (iii) the activity of foreign private security contractors must be transparent and subject to Pakistani law. It needs to be realized that drone attacks are counter productive, cause loss of valuable lives and property, radicalize the local population, create support for terrorists and fuel anti American sentiments.
- Pakistan’s nuclear programme and assets including its safety and security cannot be compromised. The US-Indo civil nuclear agreement has significantly altered the strategic balance in the region. Therefore Pakistan should seek from the US and others a similar treatment/facility. The strategic position of Pakistan vis-à-vis India on the subject of FMCT must not be compromised and this principle be kept in view in negotiations on this matter.
- Pakistan reaffirms its commitment to the elimination of terrorism and combating extremism in pursuance of its national interest.
- The condemnable and unprovoked NATO/ISAF attack resulting in the martyrdom (Shahadat) of 24 Pakistani soldiers, represents a breach of international law and constitutes a blatant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Government of Pakistan should seek an unconditional apology from the US for the unprovoked incident dated 25th – 26th November, 2011, in Mohmand Agency. And in addition the following measures be taken:
i) Those held responsible for the Mohmand Agency attack should be brought to justice.
ii) Pakistan should be given assurances that such attacks or any other acts impinging on Pakistan’s sovereignty, will not recur and that NATO/ISAF/US will take effective measures to avoid any such violations.
iii) Any use of Pakistani bases or airspace by foreign forces would require Parliamentary approval.
iv) Ministry of Defence/PAF and ISAF/US/NATO should draft new flying rules for areas contiguous to the border.
- Any consideration regarding the reopening of NATO/ISAF/US supply routes must be contingent upon a thorough revision of the terms and conditions of the arrangement, including regulation and control of movement of goods and personnel which shall be subject to strict monitoring within Pakistan, on entry, transit and exit points.
(a) No verbal Agreement regarding national security shall be entered into by the government, its Ministries, Divisions, Departments, attached Departments, Autonomous Bodies or other Organizations with any foreign Government or
authority. And if any such Agreement exists, it should be reduced to writing immediately, failing which it shall cease to have effect within three months of the approval of these recommendations.
(b) Pakistan’s territory has been used by US/NATO/ISAF for logistic recommendations are made:
purposes. In this context, the following
i) The Government of Pakistan should revisit the MOU, dated 19th June, 2011 between the Ministry of Defence of Pakistan, and the Ministry of Defence, of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland acting as lead Nation for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
ii) Acquisition and Cross-servicing Agreement (US-PK-01) between the Department of Defence of the United States of America and the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, dated 9th February, 2002, lapsing in February, 2012.
This agreement and any implementing Agreements there under may only be renewed if required on new terms and conditions for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan and ensures the national interests that should include respect. Provided in case of renegotiation of the said Agreement/MoU it should, inter alia, provide a clause on immediate suspension of transit facility through the territory of Pakistan if US/NATO/ISAF Forces violate in any manner the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan.
- No covert or overt operations inside Pakistan shall be tolerated.
- That for negotiating or re-negotiating Agreements/MoU’s pertaining to or dealing procedure shall be adopted:
i) with matters of national security, the following logistics, will be circulated to the Foreign Ministry concerned Ministries, attached or affiliated Departments for the views; All Agreements/MoU’s, including military cooperation and Organizations and
ii) Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs. All Agreements/MoU’s will be vetted by the Ministry
iii) All Agreements/MoU’s will be circulated to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security. The shall vet and make recommendations in consultation with the stakeholders and forward the same to the Federal Cabinet for approval under the Committee
Rules of Business of the Federal Government.
iv) Agreements/MoU’s in both Houses of The Minister concerned will make a policy statement on the Parliament.
- There should be prior permission and transparency on the number and presence of foreign intelligence operatives in Pakistan.
10. Fifty percent of US/ISAF/NATO containers may be handled through Pakistan Railways.
11. Taxes and other charges must be levied on all goods imported in or transiting through Pakistan, for use of infrastructure and to compensate for its deterioration. Such charges shall be inter alia used mainly to Karachi-Torkham and Karachi-Chaman roads
12. The international community should recognize Pakistan’s colossal human and economic losses and continued suffering due to the war on terror. In the inimum, greater market access of
Pakistan’s exports to markets should be actively pursued.
the US, NATO countries and global
13. In the battle for the hearts and minds an inclusive process based on primacy of dialogue and reconciliation should be adopted. Such process must respect local customs, traditions, values and religious beliefs.
(a) There is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and efforts must be undertaken to promote a genuine national reconciliation in an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process.
(b) To strengthen security along the Pakistan-Afghan border, including the cross border flow of criminal elements, narcotics and weapons, the feasibility of additional measures including electronic surveillance may be evaluated and the process of local joint Jirgas should be encouraged according to local customs and traditions.
14. That Pakistani territory shall not be used for any kind of attacks on other countries and all foreign fighters, if found, shall be expelled from our soil. Likewise, Pakistan does not expect the soil of other countries to be used against it.
15. A payments/reimbursements with regard to CSF and other leviable charges should be adopted.
16. The Government needs to review the present focus of foreign policy keeping in view the aspirations of the people of Pakistan. It needs to establish a balance by emphasizing links with our traditional allies and building new relationships for diversifying the sources of economic military and political new fast track process of billings support. In this regard it may take the following amongst other steps:
(i) Pakistan’s foreign policy must continue to focus on creating a peaceful environment in the region to pursue the goals of economic development and social progress.
(ii) The dialogue process with India should be continued in a purposeful and result oriented manner on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interest, including efforts for the solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Resolutions.
(iii) Special attention must continue to be paid to developing neighbours.
(iv) The strategic partnership with China must be deepened in all its dimensions.
(v) Relationship with the Russian Federation should be further strengthened.
(vi) Pakistan’s support for promotion of peace and stability in Afghanistan remains the cornerstone of its foreign policy.
(vii) Pakistan’s special relationship with the Islamic World should be reinforced Close cooperative relations.
(viii) Pakistan’s full membership of SCO should be actively pursued
(ix) Pakistan’s bilateral relationships in the region and its
(x) institutional partnership with ASEAN must be upgraded.and strengthened Pakistan should actively pursue the gas pipeline .project with Iran
Press briefing held on 05 July 2012
Bismillah -e- Rehman Rahim
Aslam o Alaikum,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have a small announcement to make, the Foreign Minister will be visiting Japan to attend the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan on the 08th of July. The conference will focus on sustainable development strategy of Afghanistan and discuss coordination of international economic assistance, governance and regional economic cooperation. The participants would have a look at a National Priority Programme presented by the Afghan Government. If you have any question, you can ask please.
Sir, can you show us copy of the transcript about the conversation which took place between Foreign Minister and Secretary Clinton and which provided the alleged reopening of the NATO supply routes?
We have not issued the transcript but I understand that the State Department and the American Embassy in Islamabad have issued the transcript of the discussions that took place between the two. And it is the true reflection of the conversation that took place and we have nothing to add to it.
Diplomatically we believe that regret, sympathy, apology, and sorry are four words that involve different connotations and we actually want to know that what state of word and its connotation are which Madam Clinton said or expressed?
As I have said whatever is in that statement, which has been issued by the State Department, is a true reflection of what actually was said and discussed during that call. So I don’t really have anything to add.
It took around seven months to reopen NATO supplies and around six weeks on technical talks here in Islamabad would you kindly enlighten us what have been precisely salient features of the agreement between the United States and Pakistan during the technical talks resulting in these activities of normalizing the relations and reopening of NATO supplies?
We are not really talking about one particular agreement here as there were several issues involved and discussions took place on all those issues. As you remember, there were technical level talks on various issues and of course various proposals were exchanged and discussed. We discussed the opening of GLOCs (Ground Lines of Communication), we also discussed border coordination. We also discussed drone attacks, so there were various issues discussed at various levels. The statement issued by the State Department and the press release issued by the DCC give you a very clear idea as to what was discussed and the understanding reached between the two sides.
Sir, coming to a more specific aspect of this discussion. We were told by the US officials that about 1.2 billion dollars CSF funds are going to be released. These are arrears that Pakistan has a bill for the past. What kind of arrangement has been worked out for any future costs Pakistan is going to incur in the war against militancy and can you give us any figure on the schedule of these payments?
I can’t give you the figures at the moment but I can tell you that it would be a substantial amount, which will hopefully be released soon. If you look at the American system, it involves congressional approval and a lot of administrative processes. So, we are hoping that a substantial amount will be released soon and beyond that, I am not in a position to say anything in particular.
Sir, I am grateful that you accepted the transcript issued by the US State Department so I will base my question on that. The second para of the transcript states that Hina Rabbani Khar alongwith Secretary Clinton accepted the mistakes which led to the deaths of 24 soldiers. Was there any fresh evidence that negated our earlier assessment of attacks being deliberate and secondly Hina Rabbi Khar also expressed sorry over the losses US has incurred in war against terror. We have also been accused of patronizing Taliban who have been attacking the US forces so why we are expressing sorry for that?
First of all, I think the para does not say that they “accepted”. It says they “acknowledged”. And as far as my understanding of this para is concerned, Foreign Minister Khar did not say that she accepted or acknowledge that mistakes were made on our part. I think, we should read it the way it is and it says very clearly that the two sides acknowledged the mistakes that resulted in the loss of Pakistani military lives. Regarding your second question, I think loss of lives is always regrettable and of course you feel sorry for that. I think what we need to do is to see it in a larger context as to what we are trying to do. I also think that the sentiments expressed by the US side give a very fair assessment of what US feelings are about the incident, and it says very clearly that they are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military.
My question is that would Pakistan sign an agreement with the United States once the supply lines are formally reopened and would a separate agreement will be signed with NATO and ISAF countries or there is only going to be one agreement with US and NATO countries.
I am not really in a position to give you a very specific answer on that.
My first question is that during the suspension of NATO supplies, the US supply continued through the Pakistani air space. Do the US supplies are continuing through the Pakistani air space, and secondly, there is an impression that the top parliamentary recommendation was to seek US apology in very categorical terms from the US on Salala incident. But in the transcript of conversation between Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Khar the word sorry has been used from the US side. Does it substantiate apology or not. Because previously the top US officials including President Obama, Secretary Clinton and Defence Secretary Panetta have expressed their deepest regrets on Salala incident to the Government of Pakistan and the military of Pakistan, so what is the difference, why did not we accept these words before?
Regarding your first question, my understanding is that yes, several flights were allowed to overfly Pakistan but they cannot be regarded as military flights as they were not carrying any lethal equipment or military equipment. As to your second question, let me again say that instead of getting into semantics, we should try to see this development in the context of larger objective of peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region and the cooperative relationship that we have with the 50 member states of NATO and ISAF. Let me also assure you that the decision has been made in the larger national interest, and in the light of parliamentary recommendations.
Is it a true assumption based on what we have said that uptil now there is no agreement between the two sides. On the basis of the parliamentary recommendations but there will be an agreement which will be signed?
I am not in a position to say something with certainty. I will check and get back to you on this issue.
Pakistan has fulfilled American demands regarding resumption of NATO supplies, what about the Pakistani demands? And secondly, what is Pakistan’s reaction on the recent statement by Indian Foreign Minister who has urged Pakistan to do more?
Regarding your first question, the decision to block NATO supplies was made to ensure that our sovereignty is not violated again and our red lines are respected, and of course, we would not take the losses of our forces lightly. The statement by Secretary Clinton clearly indicates that they understand our sensitivities and respect our sovereignty. On drones, our policy is very clear and has been very clearly expressed by DCC. Drones are counterproductive, they violate our sovereignty and territorial integrity and are against international laws. Both sides will continue discussing this issue with a view to reach an agreement which is mutually acceptable. Regarding your second question, in a Joint Press Conference in Delhi today, Foreign Secretary Jilani has explicitly said that Pakistan attaches great importance to the ongoing cooperation in the field of counter terrorism. It is in the mutual interest of both the countries, and we have been saying to the Indian side that if they have any evidence about any person or incident, they are most welcome to share it with us. We will of course investigate it thoroughly and we are always ready to cooperate.
Would Pakistan allow continuing NATO supplies after 2014?
Our position is self-explanatory and very clear.
Are we ready to investigate any state element as mentioned by Indian side in Abu Jindal’s case?
We totally reject any allegation of involvement of any of our state elements. Terrorism is a common enemy and both countries have an ongoing cooperation in this field and we are willing to cooperate and help in any possible manner in this regard. If they have any information or evidence to share with us, they are welcome to do so.
Can you give us any figure, how many agreements so far Foreign Office has tabled or presented before the National Security Committee because it was mentioned in the recommendations that all strategic agreements would be routed through Parliamentary Committee on National Security. My second is on the agreement between Pakistan and the United States, have you taken Parliamentary National Security Committee into confidence or the committee has been bypassed?
I don’t have any figure, but I can check it for you. Regarding your second question, let me tell you that the whole process would be undertaken in a very transparent manner.
My question is regarding ongoing Pak-India dialogues in New Delhi, has Pakistan raised the issue of spying of Surjeet Singh? And have the two sides checked that how many Pakistani prisoners have completed their sentences in the Indian jails and vice versa?
I have not seen the minutes of the meeting yet. Therefore, I am not in a position to comment on the details of the meeting. Regarding information about Pakistani prisoners, I am afraid I’ll have to check on that and then get back to you.