Islamabad to re-open NATO routes
A Pakistani truck owner prays between his truck which transport NATO supplies. AP photoPakistan expects to re-open supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan, halted after a NATO cross-border air attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November, but will impose tariffs, a senior security official told Reuters yesterday.
The official said the fees were designed to both express continued anger over the Nov. 26 attack and raise funds for the state to fight homegrown Taliban militants. No date was given for reopening the routes. The NATO attack plunged relations between troubled allies Pakistan and the U.S. to their lowest point. Ties had already been strained by a U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Asked if the re-opening was a sign that the crisis in relations had eased, the official said there was still some way to go before normalcy was possible. The two land routes to Afghanistan through Pakistan account for just under a third of all cargo that the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force ships into Afghanistan.