The Obama Administration was finally able to convince Pakistan to look the other way on the November killings of 24 Pakistani soldiers and reopen the border to occupied Afghanistan. Getting the trucks rolling again might not be so easy.
That’s because several truck owners and drivers are refusing to take NATO’s cargo anywhere, and are going to remain in Karachi until they are paid, with one owner of 310 trucks estimating that he was owed $15 million.
The US and other NATO nations had some 1,500 trucks constantly ferrying war goods to Afghanistan through the Karachi route, and a lot of those trucks were just kept waiting for months and months as US officials repeatedly predicted a deal to reopen the route was imminent.
Apparently with the trucks just sitting idle, NATO didn’t feel like they had to pay them. Since the whole reason the border was closed was because the US attacked Pakistani military bases then refused to apologize for almost nine months, the drivers clearly don’t feel they should be the ones losing money on the deal.
The resumption of supply lines in Pakistan appears to be good news for the Afghan Taliban, as well as local militants, as the closure had deprived them of millions of dollars they used to receive as ‘protection charges’ from Isaf and Nato. A prominent militant leader, known for his close ties with Mullah Omar, told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity, that the Afghan Taliban and local militants who are active on the Pak-Afghan borders were ‘seriously annoyed’ over the ban.
How to make a perpetual motion machine:
So let’s see. The US pays “a handsome amount of money” to militants in Afghanistan to prevent them attacking convoys of supplies meant to be used in putting down the activities of militants in Afghanistan. Did it ever occur to the US that perhaps those funds they pay to the Afghan Taliban are used to fund attacks on NATO personnel by the Afghan Taliban? It will be very interesting to see whether the Afghan Taliban is suddenly able to bring more weapons and IED’s into their attacks on NATO now that they have a renewed source of funding. If so, we will know how the Taliban came into the funding needed to procure those supplies. Of course, then NATO will need more supplies to put down the Afghan Taliban attacks, which will mean the Aghan Taliban will get more “protection” money, which means they can fund even more attacks…
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Trucks carrying NATO troop supplies are set to resume shipments to Afghanistan on Wednesday following a deal between the U.S. and Pakistan that ended Islamabad’s seven-month blockade.
A customs official at one of Pakistan’s two main border crossings — Chaman in southwestern Baluchistan province — said he received orders from the government to begin allowing trucks to cross into Afghanistan at 2 p.m. local time. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
Officials at the Torkham crossing in the Khyber tribal area were still waiting to receive word from the government, said customs officer Asfandyar Khan.
Pakistan agreed to reopen the supply line Tuesday after the U.S. said it was sorry for American airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November. The attack prompted Pakistan to close the route and severely damaged already strained relations between the two countries.
Pakistan’s Cabinet on Wednesday endorsed the decision to reopen the route, which was made by senior civilian and military officials.
Hooray for easier, cheaper warmaking.
Pakistan has told the United States that it is reopening land routes that NATO nations use to supply troops in Afghanistan, ending a seven-month closure imposed after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed by NATO aircraft last November, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and offered “sincere condolences” for the deaths, which spurred a major diplomatic rift between the two wary allies.
The State Department said Khar told Clinton the land routes were reopening, and that “Pakistan will continue not to charge any transit fee in the larger interest of peace and security in Afghanistan and the region,” the State Department said
Another “win” for the U.S.