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Domestic political / International, Terrorism, Military,

India, US

Nawa-e Waqt, 4 December, p 1, 9

Pakistan: Parliamentary Committee Discusses US Bombing, Pak-India Tension

Unattributed report: "The Government Should Take A Hard Line On US Bombing To Bring It To
A Halt: Opposition Demands " -- All Words Within Single, Double Quotation Marks, As

Islamabad -- Well-placed sources have reported that opposition members in the meeting of
special Parliamentary committee have stressed upon the point that government should adopt a
hard line concerning the issue of US aerial bombing in Pakistan's tribal regions and it should
convey its categorical message to the United States that if US spy planes do not stop bombing,
Pakistan will block food and fuel supply to the allied forces locked in a war in Afghanistan. The
special committee meeting was held and presided over by Mian Raza Rabbani, chairman
committee and federal minister for provincial coordination. The meeting continued up to seven
and half hours. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmud Qureshi, Rahman Malik, advisor on interior, and
Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, director general [DG] Inter-Services Intelligence [ISI] briefed the
committee members. Question-answer session held subsequent to the briefing. Hot words were
exchanged between the government and the opposition on several occasions during the
proceeding. DG, ISI left the meeting due to the arrival of US delegation in Islamabad. Several
questions regarding his briefing were left unanswered and he will answer those questions in the
next committee meeting to be convened on 16 December 2008. When the opposition members
during the special committee meeting inquired the government about behind-the-curtain deal
with the United States, a federal minister replied that the opposition should not lash out at the
government without any reason. Mian Raza Rabbani did not let this exchange of hot words
between opposition members and federal minister to take an ugly turn and finished the issue
there and then.

According to sources, Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, DG, ISI has told during his briefing that as
Pakistan Army is locked with the militant elements in the tribal regions, it is also engaged with
the people having foreign backing. In the same way, these foreign hands are also involved in
Baluchistan [imbroglio]. Pakistan Army is using all resources at its disposal to curb the militants
and annihilate terrorists and it has been successful in achieving its objectives.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmud Qureshi has also said that we have made it clear to the United
States that US spy planes bombing in tribal regions will not be tolerated [any longer]. Pakistani
Government has no secret deal with the United States regarding this.

Rahman Malik, advisor on interior said that intelligence agencies have been made active to stop
terrorist activities in the country. Intelligence agencies are affectively playing their roles
regarding this.

The sources informed that different aspects of war on terror have been highlighted during the
briefing. The members have been informed about the developments following recent incidents
occurred in Mumbai and it was told that if India invades Pakistan, armed forces will be moved
from the western borders to the western borders [as published, it is eastern borders along Indian

The meeting was attended by Senator Dr Babar Awan [Pakistan People's Party, PPP], Shirin
Rahman [federal information minister], Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan, Senator Ishaq Dar
[Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, PML-N], Senator Professor Khurshid Ahmad [Jamaat-e-Islami
Pakistan, JI], Senator Wasim Sajjad [Pakistan Muslim League-Qaid-e-Azam Group, PML-Q],
Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao [Pakistan People's Party-Sherpao Group, PPP-Sherpao], Haider
Abbas Rizvi [Muttahida Qaumi Movement, MQM], Justice [ret] Abdul Razzaq Thahim, Senator
Abdur Rahim Mandokhel, Senator Shahid Hassan Bugti and Senator Israrullah Zahari.

Asfandyar Wali could not attend the meeting due to his illness. A committee member told daily
"Nawa-e Waqt" that open discussion is held on national issues in the committee meeting. Mian
Raza Rabbani, chairman committee told at the end of the meeting that the committee meeting
remained incomplete. Due to lengthy proceedings, meeting will be held on 16 December again.
Ahmad Mukhtar, defense minister will give briefing in the next meeting following which
recommendations will be drafted. He said that if committee deems it vital, any person can be
summoned in the meeting. The role of the political leadership during all parties' conference
[APC] was appreciated in the committee meeting. Responding to a question, he said that the
situation following Mumbai incidents has been deliberated upon in the committee meeting. Issue
of Pak-India tension has not been mandated to the committee. However, as it is committee on
national security issues, we have been informed to some extent regarding this issue.