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Pak warns US against 'unilateral actions'
Pakistan Parliament warned that the transit facility to NATO forces would be withdrawn if drone strikes continued.
Islamabad: As a cornered Pakistan faced all-round flak for its failure to detect Osama bin Laden's presence on its soil, its Parliament on Saturday slammed the US raid that killed him and warned that the transit facility to Afghan-based NATO forces would be withdrawn if "unilateral" American actions like drone strikes continued.
The warning was part of a resolution adopted early this morning following a marathon 11-hour joint session of the two houses of Parliament that was briefed by top military officials on the covert American operation against the al-Qaeda chief in the garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2.
The Parliament also demanded that the government appoint "an independent commission on the Abbottabad operation, fix responsibility and recommend necessary measures to ensure that such an incident does not recur."
The resolution condemned the "US unilateral action" against the dreaded terrorist, saying it "constitutes a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty."
The Parliament said "unilateral actions, such as those conducted by the US forces in Abbottabad, as well as the continued drone attacks on the territory of Pakistan, are not only unacceptable but also constitute violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and humanitarian norms."
If the drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal belt are not "stopped forthwith," the government "will be constrained to consider taking necessary steps, including withdrawal of transit facility allowed to NATO/ISAF forces (in Afghanistan)," the resolution said.
The resolution called on the government to "re-visit and review its terms of engagement with the United States with a view to ensuring that Pakistan's national interests are fully respected and accommodated in pursuit of policies for countering terrorism and achieving reconciliation and peace in
ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, whose organisation has come in for sharp criticism for its failure to detect bin Laden's presence in Abbottabad, offered to resign for the "intelligence failure" during the stormy session, according to media reports.
Top military officers, including the ISI chief, Director General of Military Operations Maj Gen Ashfaq Nadeem Ahmed and deputy air force chief Air Vice Marshal Asim Suleman faced stinging questions from lawmakers during the session held behind closed doors.
Leader of Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told reporters after the session that the independent commission to probe the US raid against bin Laden will be formed following consultations between him and the Prime Minister. "The members of the commission will be chosen by the Leader of Opposition and the Prime Minister. They could be judges, members of civil society and the legal community (but) we want people with clean backgrounds," Khan said.
Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said the government had two options if the drone attacks continue it could take "action" against the US spy planes or cut off transit access for NATO supplies.
The Parliament's resolution contended that "unilateral actions cannot advance the global cause of elimination of terrorism" and the people of Pakistan "will no longer tolerate such actions and repeat of unilateral measures could have dire consequences for peace and security in the region and the world."
The resolution said the people and state institutions of Pakistan were committed to safeguarding "national interests and strategic assets" and warned that "any action to the contrary will warrant a strong national response."
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