Islamabad: Pakistan has secretly allowed US-led NATO forces to use its airspace to transport lethal supplies to Afghanistan while disregarding a resolution approved by Parliament that set conditions for the movement of supplies, a media report said today.
It was not clear when permission was granted for transporting the lethal supplies but the arrangement is believed to be a stop gap one between Pakistan and the US till they finalise a deal on reopening land routes to Afghanistan, official sources were quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.
The move could trigger a strong public backlash in view of the resolution passed by a joint session of Parliament that states Pakistan’s territory, including its airspace, will not be used to transport arms and ammunition to Afghanistan, the report said.
The Foreign Office and the Defence Ministry were at odds over allowing NATO planes to carry weapons, a source was quoted as saying by the daily.
The Foreign Office opposed the decision, considering it a violation of the Parliamentary resolution.
However, it started issuing non-objection certificates to such planes after pressure from defence authorities, the report said.
According to rules, the Foreign Office forwards the non-objection certificates to the Pakistan Air Force, which allows the aircraft to fly over Pakistan.
However, an unnamed senior Foreign Ministry official denied the Foreign Office had any part in granting the permission.
The official said the Foreign Office’s role was that of a “post office” and it was the Defence Ministry and concerned authorities that are supposed to determine and grant permission for planes carrying weapons.