Pakistan initiated its own regional diplomatic initiative regarding Afghan end game, however, the declaration of trilateral Afghanistan-Pakistan-Iran summit was nothing more than a lofty rhetoric. So it becomes evident that going into a non-cooperation mode was not a viable option. And after all boycotting everything and pushing oneself in isolation mode is at best a foolish and at minimum no policy at all. It also merits a mention here that Americans and NATO forces need these routes to take out their heavy war equipment out of Afghanistan more than inland supplies to its troops which are already going on through the northern supply route.
Other options could have involved extending cooperation to US and NATO countries without opening land route supplies but that would have damaged Pakistan’s bargain position in Afghan settlement. It merits a mention here that in reply to Pakistan’s arm twisting tactics American announced a head bounty of $10 billion on Hafiz Saeed, suspended financial assistance to Pakistan, the issue of Balochistan was taken up in US congress and a resolution was also tabled, as mentioned above a greater role was awarded to India and peace process with Afghan Taliban was started without taking Pakistan onboard. These are just few of the many options which Americans could have adopted had Pakistan prolonged or decided to opt otherwise.
Other than its pragmatic approach the decision of parliament has symbolic importance in other respects as well. For the first time Pakistan Army was forced to give the ownership of foreign policymaking to parliament and bring in transparency in its dealing with the US. Though it disappointed many to see opposition parties boycotting and opting out of review process on several occasions; however, they successfully finalized the PCNS’s recommendations. This is a landmark decision which will go a long way towards strengthening the democratic institutions and restoring the confidence of masses in the country’s elected institutions.