Pakistani airspace never closed for NATO: Gilani

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 Pakistan never closed its airspace for NATO supplies in Afghanistan and had only suspended the land route, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said.

“The Defence Committee of the Cabinet had taken a decision to suspend supplies for NATO through land route and get the Shamsi airbase vacated. We are bound by that,” he said.

Islamabad had closed the land route to Afghanistan after the Nov 26 NATO air raids on two border posts that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter had recently said that NATO supplies continue to fly into Afghanistan despite closure of the border.

Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar had subsequently said the air route had been opened for food items on humanitarian grounds and that it was a temporary arrangement.

Legislators wanted to know who passed the orders bypassing parliament, Dawn reported Monday.

Gilani told reporters the parliamentary committee prepared the recommendations on new terms of engagement with the US and will be put before a joint session of parliament.

He justified the delay in summoning of the joint session, saying he wanted to put it before a new Senate.

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