NATO supply blockade: PTI to be held responsible for consequences; says Rashid

NATO supply blockade: PTI to be held responsible for consequences; says Rashid

ISLAMABAD: Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid said on Tuesday that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its allied parties would be held responsible for the consequences of blocking NATO supplies to Afghanistan as supplies were being done through international agreements.

Rashid’s statement came a day after US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel during his brief visit to Islamabad reportedly warned Pakistani leaders that if they don’t resolve protests stalling some military shipments across the border with Afghanistan, it could be difficult to maintain political support in the US for an aid program that has sent billions of dollars to Pakistan.

Talking to media representatives in Islamabad on Tuesday, the information minister said in an apparent reference to sit-ins by the PTI and its allied parties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa aimed at blocking NATO supply lines into Afghanistan that some parties are jeopardizing national interests for the sake of some political gains.

The information minister said that the PTI is staging sit-ins as a part of the plan to win some seats in the coming local bodies elections. He said that the masses should think who are working for the national interests and who are doing politics on national interests.

Meanwhile, the PTI and its allied parties’ sit-in for blocking of NATO supply has entered into third consecutive week.

The workers of PTI‚ Jamaat-e-Islami and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad have set-up protest camp at Ring Road near Hayatabad Toll Plaza in Peshawar. They are checking the documents of the containers and block transportation of any container if it is found carrying NATO supply.

The protest by the PTI and its allied parties in the provincial government started after a US drone had carried out a strike in the Tal area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu district, causing several causalities on November 21.

Later on December 4, the US military suspended shipments of equipment out of Afghanistan through the Torkham border crossing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, saying the initiative was taken to ensure the safety of drivers of the containers following protests in Pakistan over US drone strikes.