Coalition partners discuss PCNS recommendations

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The ruling coalition on Tuesday night fine-tuned its strategy about the recommendations being finalised by the parliamentary committee on national security on the new terms of re-engagement with US and NATO forces in war against terrorism.
The meeting of heads of allied parties was held at the Presidency with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the chair. The meeting was attended by PML-Q chief Senator Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, ANP President Asfandyar Wali Khan, PML-Q Secretary-General Mushahid Hussain Sayed, ANP leader Senator Afrasiab Khattak, MQM Parliamentary Leader in National Assembly Dr Farooq Sattar, Senator Babar Khan Ghauri, while Noorul Haq Qadri and Senator Abbas Khan Afridi represented the FATA parliamentarians.
Hina Rabbani Khar, minister for foreign affairs, Rehman Malik, minister for interior, Syed Khursheed Shah, minister for religious affairs, spokesperson to the president Senator Farhatullah Babar and Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US were also present during the meeting. A source told Pakistan Today that Mushahid Hussain Sayed informed the meeting on the PCNS preliminary recommendations and told the meeting that all parties, except for the JUI-F, had agreed to his proposal of linking the resumption of NATO supplies with halting of drone attacks. “The president asked Shujaat to contact Maulana Fazlur Rehman and convince him to return to the committee as he had agreed to initial draft of the PCNS. However, Shujaat said Fazl had informed him that he was objecting to the recommendations due to political compulsions,” the source said.
The source said Sherry Rehman also informed the meeting about the frustration developing in the US over the delays in opening of NATO supply routes and said it would be advisable for the parliament to take a decision soon. Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said the ongoing discussions in the joint sitting of the parliament on the report of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security about the contours of foreign policy also came under discussion. He said the president briefed the meeting on his visit to India and his luncheon meeting with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on way to Ajmer Sharif. The coalition partners congratulated the president on his visit to India and termed it a good omen for peace in the region. The meeting expressed grave concerns over the Pakistani troops and civilians entrapped in glacier avalanche in Siachen and prayed for their safety. The meeting lauded the services and sacrifices of the soldiers and also previewed current political situation and other coalition matters.