Pakistan Taliban says will attack lawmakers if Afghan supply routes reopen

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:24 AM
Pakistan Taliban says will attack lawmakers if Afghan supply routes reopen

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Pakistan Taliban will attack lawmakers if they decide to re-open NATO supply routes to Afghanistan, the militant group's spokesman said on Sunday, a threat likely to complicate efforts to mend severely strained relations between the United States and Pakistan.

"If the parliament decides to restore NATO supplies, we will attack parliamentarians and their overlords," Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) told Reuters.

The U.S. needs Pakistani permission to allow supplies to be trucked via two routes into Afghanistan, which prior to their closure, accounted for almost a third of all NATO cargo to Afghanistan.

Pakistan's parliament is reviewing recommendations for a new direction in ties with Washington, including a possible re-opening of the supply routes for NATO forces in Afghanistan, which were shut last November after a cross-border skirmish with NATO forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

The national security committee said that if supplies to foreign forces in Afghanistan are resumed, the shipments must be taxed.

A halt in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan, and an unconditional apology for the November incident, were the main recommendations from the parliament's national security committee.

Pakistan's cooperation is considered critical to U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan before most foreign combat troops leave at the end of 2014. Pakistan has strong traditional links with the Afghan Taliban and other militant groups.

(Reporting by Haji Mujtaba; Writing by Qasim Nauman; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)