Pakistan religious parties oppose NATO supply restoration

January 8, 2012 12:15 pm 

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 8 — Alliance of religious parties in Pakistan on Saturday announced to oppose any possible decision by the government to restore supplies for the NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistan closed supply line for the U.S.-led NATO troops in Afghanistan a day after NATO fighter jets and helicopters shelled Pakistani border posts on November 26, which killed 24 soldiers.

Pakistan Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar said last month that the government is considering tax on NATO trucks, hinting at opening of the supply line.

American and NATO officials in Afghanistan have also expressed the hope that Pakistan will soon restore the supply line.

Leaders of the Defense of Pakistan, an alliance of religious-political parties, speaking at a joint press conference in Islamabad, said that they would show resistance to any decision to restore supplies to nearly 150,000 forces in Afghanistan.

The leaders said in declaration that "The Council condemns and rejects the attempts to reopen NATO supply under cover of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security."

The meeting observed that vacating Shamsi airbase by the U.S. and blockade of supplies to NATO were the right steps after which American's attacks and terrorism came to an end.

"Therefore restoration of supply would simply mean an invitation to attacks and terrorism against Pakistan," the declaration said.

The meeting also urged the government to quit the so-called "war on terror" and disassociate Pakistan from it.

Maulana Samiul Haq, head of the Council, said that the leadership of the council has decided to expedite country-wide movement of the masses against what he called the U.S. terrorism in Pakistan.

He declared that big rallies will be held against the U.S. on January 22 in Rawalpindi, January 29 in Multan in Punjab and on February 12 in Karachi.

"We want to convey a strong message in connection to defense of the country through such activities," Samiul Haq added. He said that Pakistan should boost ties with China and the Muslim world and shut relationship with the United States.

Pakistan has also started review of relationship with the U.S. and NATO following the attack and the parliament will soon open debate on the future relationship.

The religious parties also opposed the Most Favored Nation status to India in trade and demanded the government to stop the unilateral privileges to India. They advised the government to avoid trade facilities to India unless the Kashmir issue is resolved. (PNA/Xinhua)

DCT/jsd

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