US supply trucks cross Afghan-Pakistan border: Officials

Published: May 18, 2012

Pakistan allowed 4 containers for US embassy in Kabul to cross into Afghanistan for first time following 6-month blockade. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

PESHAWAR: Pakistan allowed four containers of office supplies for the US embassy in Kabul to cross into Afghanistan for the first time following a six-month blockade, officials said on Friday.

The trucks were permitted to cross as President Asif Ali Zardari prepares to meet Nato leaders at a key summit in Chicago, accepting a last-minute invitation after his foreign minister indicated Pakistan was willing to call time on the blockade.

Islamabad closed its Afghan border crossings to Nato supplies on November 26 when US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, leaving hundreds of containers of international supplies stranded at the port in Karachi and plunging relations with Washington to a new low.

The four trucks of US embassy supplies crossed Pakistan’s northwest Torkham border into Afghanistan, the officials told AFP on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to release the information to the media.

“I can’t give you the exact number but a lot more will go to Afghanistan in coming days. These all are diplomatic shipments, I mean non-Nato supplies,” one of the officials said.

In Kabul, the US embassy said it could not confirm the shipment.

There were conflicting accounts of when the trucks crossed, with one source saying they began moving earlier in the week and another saying they passed through on Friday.

Almost 300 containers of US embassy supplies, including stationery, computers and printers, are understood to have been stranded in Pakistan by the blockade.

Pakistan and US officials are still negotiating rules, fees and logistics for resuming the Nato transit lines, and Islamabad has not said when Nato supplies will resume.

Supply trucks crossing have nothing to do with Nato supply

A US Embassy spokesperson in Islamabad confirmed that ‘a few non-NATO containers carrying diplomatic cargo’ were permitted to cross into Afghanistan at Torkham border on Friday.

However, Mark Stroh made clear that the permission had nothing to do with the resumption of NATO supplies suspended since November last year following the Salala incident.

“NATO supply routes remained blocked,” he added.

But the brief opening of land routes is being seen as a prelude to eventual resumption of supplies for the western forces stationed in Afghanistan.

A foreign office official said the ‘diplomatic courier’ had no linkage with the Ground Lines of Communications (GLOCs) but acknowledged that it was a sign of easing of tensions between the two countries.

An American diplomat claimed that under the Vienna Convention Pakistan should not have stopped ‘diplomatic shipments’ in the first place when shutting down supply lines.

Though, Islamabad recently has given green light for lifting of blockade, the two countries are still negotiating new terms and conditions under which NATO containers would pass through the country.

Both the Pakistani and American officials have said that the deal is expected to be finalised very soon.

Reader Comments (22)

  • Ali
    May 18, 2012 - 8:38PM

    We were on a stronger footing with our position and sacrifice for this war, however since the Govt. is corrupt and slave to the US, we gave up our position to assume slavery once again, to a weak US position. It is sad when you have a chance of earning some respect in front of the people, the govt decides to make some “more” money.

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  • abdul khaliq nasar
    May 18, 2012 - 8:41PM

    today the soul of the Salala Martyrs will be feeling unrest,, they will be asking about the killers and asking that what was our mistake why we was killed????? It;s a question by the public of Pakistan from the president of the state… we have no any right to call ourselves as an independent state as we have no authority to run our country according to our will…..Recommend

  • Khalid Aziz
    May 18, 2012 - 8:50PM

    @abdul khaliq nasar:
    In stead of asking the president ask the COAS, who is actually running the show of halting and opening of NATO supply line. Please stop putting blames on politicians, all the time.

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  • YP Toronto
    May 18, 2012 - 8:53PM

    In the end, for this corrupt government, its all money, money and money.

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  • Khawar Ali Siddiqui
    May 18, 2012 - 9:22PM

    I remember all these truckwalas declaring that they will not transport NATO goods even if our ‘beghairat’ government decides to open it. Now they are all racing get username on the lot.

    This government knows its people. Worst part is that instead of shutting up our educated classes continue their war mongering attitude and probably texting from their queues in front of US embassies.

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  • May 18, 2012 - 9:29PM

    Well I am reminded of the oft repeated quote by Mr. Sheikh Rashid, which goes something like this ” we will eat 100 onions and be beaten by 100 times with shoes “. No comments are the best comments on this development.

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  • yaz
    May 18, 2012 - 9:31PM

    @Khalid Aziz:
    By law the President of Pakistan is the Commander-in-Chief and supreme commander of the Army. So he is the boss & the buck stops at him.

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  • Mirza
    May 18, 2012 - 9:32PM

    @Khawar Ali Siddiqui:
    @Khalid Aziz:
    I agree with you both. We tried to bluff NATO but they called our bluff and we had no choice. The irony is the ISPR, and generals who were beating their chests after Salala, have disappeared behind the “all of a sudden elected democratic govt”. Here is a news that would show how Paksitanis are seen in North America especially during the last decade. Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

    http://dawn.com/2012/05/16/pakistani-canadians-falling-below-the-poverty-line/Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 18, 2012 - 9:46PM

    @yaz: And by law the President has immunity against prosecution also, clearly written in constitution. By law the president also has power to accept or reject the final appeal of anybody who is convicted for any crime including murder. Yet the PCO courts are pushing the president and PM against the constitutional right to pardon. Based upon your argument (to protect the generals) the president should be able to pardon the PM and HH, yet the PCO SC judges are wasting time and money on the manufactured political cases.
    Regards,
    Mirza

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  • Babloo
    May 18, 2012 - 10:45PM

    All the chest thumping of NATO route stoppage ended in a whimper of surrender and resignation. Was this self-inflicted humilation necessary ?

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  • Nasir
    May 18, 2012 - 10:49PM

    @abdul khaliq nasar: when the taliban kill our citizens and army jawanns dont you think their souls ask why the mullahs are showering terrorists with rose petals, why our ministers are attending extremist rallies – yes I am sure their souls feel unrest as well

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  • Concerned
    May 18, 2012 - 10:51PM

    This is a welcome news and a politically correct move which would only help Pakistan. Pakistan has to move on since both US and Pakistan need each other but the latter cannot exist without former’s aid.

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  • Mullah jee
    May 18, 2012 - 10:53PM

    have you not heard the saying losers cannot be choosers? – we are not an economic superpower like our neighbours. Successive governments have failed pakistan and mullahs have ensured a halt to foreign investment through their terrorist activities. Even cricketers do not want to visit. So please lets not pretend we don’t need the money while half the country is starving

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    May 18, 2012 - 11:46PM

    We are born with slaves mentality and will also die in the same mental status.

    The Economy of Pakistan has gone from bad to worst during the last four years rule of PPP government and could not earn the target revenues to run the show.

    The government was not having any alternate to boost the economy and it had left no other option except to print the currency.

    The $ 650 million deal is going to go in the pockets of corrupt politicians who are sitting at the treasury benches to buy more properties and make assets in foreign countries.

    Jinnah’s Pakistan is deteriorating with each passing day and the nation is waiting for the time when finally the government will become bank-corrupt.

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  • Sandip
    May 19, 2012 - 12:15AM

    @Mirza: Hasn’t that always been the case? The generals do all sorts of stupid things and then when the going gets tough, hand the can to the civilian leadership. Carrying their cans is probably about the only thing that the generals consider the civilians good enough for. Look at the history of Pakistan and that has been the clear pattern all along. Who would forget the disgraceful behaviour of sending men under command to fight and then disowning them when the going got tough, all behind the veil of plausible deniability?

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  • True Muslim Paki
    May 19, 2012 - 12:19AM

    This is the humiliation to every pakistani muslim which is only next to Raymond Davis incident. But as a nation, I think we are getting used to losing our honour. Our politicians and Generals, have always lost (every war, every incident like Raymond Davis, salala, drones) when our sovereignty, honor & respect is trampled like cigar butt. What a shame!

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  • abdul khaliq nasar
    May 19, 2012 - 12:23AM

    Guys i have read an article in which it was mentioned the these all are America’s Policies… She used us in the implementation of her policies., i read that when the twin towers were attacked after 15 minutes the picture of usama was shown on the media,,, i read that internationally Pakistan is presented as a terrorist or its ally,,,, and America is also organizing international attack and it will be blamed that Pakistan is the responsible and ultimately it will seek permission from the international Security Council to interfere in Pakistan clearly,,, we here don’t have to blame we have to think that what our Representatives are doing for us,, i have the evidence of articles if any one needs i will mail them

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  • True Muslim Paki
    May 19, 2012 - 12:25AM

    There’s one article today that the world dislikes us. Why will they like us when we can’t take one concrete stand? We change our stand for money which shows the national character. How are we different from mercenaries? Taliban has an idealogy & our idealogy is money. Today is a shameful day for every true Muslim Pakistani.

    We should plead to Allah for forgiveness.

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  • jahandad
    May 19, 2012 - 12:54AM

    loat key bhudu gher ko aey [The budu returns back to home],,,,,,when you accept free aid[charity] in today’s greedy world ,its for sure you loose your dignity ,respect and ego,,,,,,,A DOLLAR A DAY,,KEEPS SOVEREIGNTY AWAY,,,BUT thanks to ALLAH we common people of Pakistan are not slaves ,like the ones on top of diamonds ,selling their everything for a few dollars , which we commoners[Pakistanis] spit on,,,,,

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  • Javed
    May 19, 2012 - 2:03AM

    @True Muslim Paki:
    Now that you know our ideology is money, I assume you will now move in with the Taliban and be in PEACE OR PIECE FOR EVER.

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  • Imran Con
    May 19, 2012 - 2:16AM

    @abdul khaliq nasar:
    That was hilarious. But a bit too pitiful to stay laughing long. Keep reading this and that, you’ll find a writer who will write what you want to hear no matter what it is.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    May 20, 2012 - 9:49AM

    This is the commencement of the greatest ever effrontery of Pakistani corrupt,beggars and slaves leaders doesn’t matter what the reason they showed?

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