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Pakistani leaders criticize ‘secret NATO’ supplies

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Feb. 13, IRNA -- Pakistan political and religious parties have criticized what they called ‘secret’ supplies to NATO’ forces in Afghanistan and warned a protest sit-in in Islamabad if the government did not stop it.

Pakistan closed supply line for NATO forces in November after U.S. planes and helicopters struck two border posts and killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

The U.S. ambassador in Islamabad said on Thursday that supplies for NATO forces continued via Pakistan’s airspace.

The Pentagon also said Friday that supplies for NATO forces have never stopped through Pakistan.

Dozens of top leaders of Pakistan political and religious parties told a huge rally in Karachi that the government has told ‘lie’ on the NATO supplies and said they will launch protest campaign.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik denied the U.S. claim and said the line is still closed.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani says that the decision to restore or otherwise will be taken by the parliament.

Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar says the supplies could be restored with conditions, including levying of tax on the NATO trucks.

Pakistani political and religious leaders warned of a protest sit-in in the capital Islamabad if the government opened the land route for NATO forces.

Chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Munawar Hasan told the rally that reopening of the NATO supply line would be a betrayal with the people of Pakistan.

He said Jamaat-e-Islami would besiege parliament the day the parliament approved opening of NATO supply line.

“If the parliament approved restoring the Nato supplies, the Jamaat would launch a countrywide agitation and would not rest until taking it to the logical end of removing the incumbent rulers,” Hasan said.

Chief of the Defence of Pakistan Council, Maulana Sami-ul-Haq said that the American media has reported that Islamabad has agreed to restore Nato forces supply line in exchange for acceptance of certain demands.

He said the people of Pakistan would never accept any decision against the national security and honor. He said that Nato supply line should permanently cut off permanently.

Chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa Hafiz Saeed said Pakistan should quit the US-led alliance as the alliance is the killer of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Islamic countries.

Other leaders condemned the U.S. policies and said Americans have never been the friends of Muslims and they used the people for own interests. They said the U.S. ambassador in Islamabad has started conspiracies against the Council and is mounting pressure on the government to ban the alliance.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30815528

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