Pakistan takes small step in refusing mercenaries access to their territory

It’s right to be skeptical that this will ever happen – Pakistan is notorious for being a nation whose political and military class simply act above the law – but at least it’s being said (via Dawn):

Members of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) on Saturday unanimously agreed to include two clauses into the draft about not allowing foreign security contractors to conduct covert operations on Pakistani soil and not giving bases to any foreign nation, especially to the United States.

The committee, which met here at the Parliament House with Senator Raza Rabbani in the chair, held deliberations for over three hours.

The meeting was also attended by PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira who has replaced Senator Babar Awan.

The initial recommendation draft included that “the activity of foreign private security contractors to be made transparent and subject to Pakistani law” and “parliamentary approval for any use of Pakistani bases by foreign forces, and drafting new flying rules by the defence ministry/PAF and Isaf/US/Nato for areas contiguous to the border.”

Opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat ul Ulema Islam (JUI-F) had raised their reservations regarding these clauses and regarded them to be tantamount to providing a legal cover to the covert operations.

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