ISLAMABAD - Preparations are afoot for holding a Defence Committee of the Cabinet meeting in a next few days to discuss the ways and means to proceed forward in restructuring the relations with the US and restoration of the NATO supply routes via Pakistan in the light of the recommendations of the Parliament.

Sources in the government informed The Nation that PPP-led coalition government wanted to complete the whole exercise before the NATO summit in Chicago scheduled to be held on May 20-21 to workout the post-NATO troops withdrawal scenario and scheme of things in Afghanistan.

Sources informed that as President Asif Ali Zardari would be attending the summit where he would be meeting with various heads of states of NATO member states including US President Barack Obama at the sidelines of the two days summit.

Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front informed that government has decided in principle to open the NATO supply routes after taking certain guarantees and assurances from the US and the Defence Committee of the Cabinet would discuss the details of the talks to be held with US officials on this particular issue. Sources further informed that the DCC would also take into account the strong protests going on in the country against the expected reopening of the NATO supply lines particularly by the rightwing political parties.

Sources said that the issue of providing security cover in case of NATO supply restoration would also come under discussion in the DCC as the chances of attacks on the NATO containers have increased manifold after the suspension of these supplies following Salala check posts attack by the NATO which resulted in the martyrdom of some 24 Pakistan Army personnel.