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Pakistan Taliban warns MPs against NATO supply restoration

Pakistan,Indo-Pak/Pakistan,Terrorism, Sun, 25 Mar 2012 IANS

Islamabad, March 25 (IANS) The Pakistan Taliban Sunday warned members of parliament against restoration of the supply line for NATO troops in Afghanistan and said they would target MPs and their leaders if they recommended restoration of supplies.


Pakistan suspended supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan in November 2011 after the US fighter jets and helicopters raided two Pakistani posts and killed 24 soldiers.


The parliament will begin on Monday a debate on the future relationship with the US and the country's future terms of engagements with the NATO in Afghanistan, reported Xinhua.


The MPs will also make a decision whether or not to recommend to the government restoration of supplies.


"If the parliament opened the land route for NATO troops, we will target members of the parliament and their party leaders," Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said.


"We are aware that the pro-American parliamentarians have started efforts to legalize a route to NATO forces," the TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said.


The Parliamentary Committee on National Security has recommended to the government conditional restoration of the supply line for NATO troops with the imposition of tax on NATO supply trucks.


Officials say that nearly 70 percent of supplies are transported for some 150,000 US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan via Pakistan.


Pakistan's Communication Minister Arbab Alamgir said that NATO containers have badly affected the country's road infrastructure in the northwest and southwest, which had main border points with Afghanistan. He also said he would recommend to the government to demand compensation for damage caused to the roads.


Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Sunday that the parliament will take a decision on NATO supply and he will not accept any pressure on the issue.


Islamic parties have also opposed restoration of the NATO supply line and said they will protest in Islamabad against any possible decision on restoration of supplies.


A leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman, Sunday told a public meeting of thousands of his supporters in the northwestern city of Peshawar that the nation will stand against the NATO supplies.


The TTP spokesman said in a statement that the parliamentarians should know that they "would not be safe" if they favor restoration supplies for NATO forces.


He also asked the drivers not to carry supplies for NATO troops.


Taliban militants had routinely been attacking and torching NATO trucks until after Pakistan cut off the line.


The US has already struck a deal with Russia and several Central Asian states for an alternate supply route in view of attacks on NATO trucks in Pakistan.


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