No doubt, one would like to see this hurdle – the supply channel issue – to the improvement of relations with the US, the sole superpower of the day, out of the way as soon as possible. Pentagon Press Secretary George Little’s remark, "I think the basis for some kind of an agreement on the GLOCs is there and is real and we hope that we reach a resolution on it…..” is a clear indication coming from the US side that only the nuts and bolts are required to be fitted; the main assembly has already taken place.
For Pakistan, however, it must not only uphold the sanctity of the Parliament’s decision, but also take stock of the expected backlash that the reopening of the facility would entail. Pakistan is already beset with fiendish problems like terrorism and law and order situation that has virtually gone out of hand at certain key places. Controlling the angry reaction to restoring the channel, reaction that threatens violence, would be an uphill task for the law enforcement agencies and could be a precursor to unchecked instability. One should expect, as Foreign Secretary Jilani maintains, that the exit of foreign forces would bring stability to Afghanistan and the region. But he should know that it is not going to be a complete withdrawal by 2014; it would be a drawdown. Even the American policymakers assert that the US is going to stay for a much longer period and the recent agreement reached between Washington and Kabul ensures that their stay would not end by 2014, a recipe for continued violence. For, their presence would be an anathema to the Afghans who are fiercely independent. Islamabad’s interests lie in a stable and peaceful Afghanistan and that can only be achieved through a process of negotiation held between the warring sides.