Icey disagreements melt away
Pakistan-ISAF officially signing NATO supply resumption today
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (eTN) – The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Pakistan are going to sign a NATO supply agreement between Pakistan and the United States of America at the Ministry of Defense in the city of Rawalpindi, in the Pothohar region of Pakistan, near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, on July 31, 2012. This will be coupled with visit by Lieutenant General Muhammad Zahir Ul Islam, Director General of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to the USA, as he meets with his counterpart, General David H. Petraeus, Director of the US CIA, on August 1 to August 3.
This agreement will be signed by Lt. General (Retired) Asif yasin Malik, who was recently appointed Secretary of Defense. His last posting was Peshawar Corp Commander.
From the ISAF side, the Acting Ambassador of the United States in Pakistan, Mr.
Richard E. Hoagland, will ink the agreement.
Hoagland is considered a Central Asia expert, and previously, he was US Ambassador to Kazakhstan, 2008-2011. Earlier, Ambassador Hoagland served as US Ambassador to Tajikistan, 2003-2006, and was the US Charge d'Affaires to Turkmenistan, July 2007-July 2008. Prior to that, Ambassador Hoagland was Director of the Office of Caucasus and Central Asian Affairs in the Bureau of Europe and Eurasian Affairs, Department of State, June 2001-July 2003.
While commenting on this agreement, Foreign Office spokesman, Mozzam Ahmed Khan, maintained that Pakistan decided to resume NATO supply routes without any financial incentives as these ground lines of communication were stopped in the national interest, and resumption was in line with national sovereignty.
"Pakistan did not close the ground lines of communication for NATO supply to Afghanistan for financial benefit, therefore, these lines have been restored without any financial benefit," said Mozzam Ahmed. The decision of suspension of NATO supplies was a principle decision aimed at protecting national sovereignty and integrity, he added.
He said the Defense Committee of the Cabinet decided to open the supply routes for NATO so that Pakistan could play an active role in regional peace, progress, and prosperity.
The spokesman said Pakistan and the United States have yet to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding to formalize the resumption of NATO supply, adding that technical aspects have been finalized by the technical experts both from Pakistan and the United States, and it was hoped that the new MOU will be signed very soon.