Pakistan agreed to reopen land routes for Nato goods on July 3, 2012 after ordering the longest border closure of Afghanistan seven months before due to the US air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan on June 31, 2012 signed a deal with the United States for Nato convoys travelling to Afghanistan. It is the only post-9/11 written agreement between Pakistan and the US. Officials at the ceremony gave no details of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), nor did they release a copy at a news conference. Guidelines laid out by the Pakistani parliament earlier this year insisted that in future no weapons and ammunition be transported through the country.

A very confusing clause is included in the MoU, which has been published in different newspapers, that no weapon or ammunition can go through Pakistan to Afghanistan for Nato forces but if there would be any need of capacity building of Afghan forces then it could pass through Pakistan. Customs would receive $ 250 per container.

It was clearly written in the resolution passed by parliament earlier this year regarding Nato supplies that first there would be a written agreement with the US and only then the supply line would open. However, Nato supplies had been opened two weeks prior to this agreement.

This agreement was not presented in parliament or the press before being signed. It was also mentioned in the agreement that the US’s weapons would not be included in the non-lethal cargo, but at the same time, they defined non-lethal cargo as US military equipment vehicles and other military property. This is clearly against parliament’s resolution. This clause is also a question mark.

MUHAMMAD HASSAN,

Islamabad, August 4.