As the Pakistani government mulls over a strategy to take forward the dialogue process with militants, which, it says, has been deliberately derailed by U.S. drone strikes, it is ambivalent on the demand from political parties to cut off NATO supplies to Afghanistan.
News reports quoted Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid as rejecting the demand, made by Imran Khan, chief of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI). On Sunday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the peace talks with the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) would not be derailed, but he did not respond to a question on NATO supplies. He said all aspects of the U.S. relations would be under review.
The government is expected to convene a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on National Security to review its relations with the U.S. The issue of blocking NATO supplies could figure on the agenda, official sources said. On Monday, the PTI is expected to move a motion in Parliament seeking blocking of NATO supplies to Afghanistan.
In the TTP, the leadership tussle continues and there are conflicting reports that the outfit had appointed a new leader. Latest reports quoted Shahidullah Shahid, TTP spokesperson, as saying that an interim leader Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani (in picture)has been appointed after Hakimullah Mehsud’s death and a permanent one would be chosen later.