Nato's new Central Asia transit agreement for 'non-lethal goods only'

Published: June 7, 2012

Nato says its new deal with Central Asian states is for non-lethal goods only. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: A Nato official says the new reverse transit agreement between Nato and three Central Asian countries for transport of goods from Afghanistan is for “non-lethal goods” only and that they are in talks for a new transit agreement with Russia.

Earlier this week, the Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced that Nato would have a new reverse transit agreement with Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and Kazakhstan, three countries through which Nato already operates its Northern Distribution Network for ferrying supplies into and out of Afghanistan.

The agreement comes after the ground supply routes from Pakistan to Afghanistan have been closed since November 2011, following the Salala airstrike that led to the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan has demanded an apology from the United States in return, and is currently in talks with a US team on negotiating new tariffs for trucks passing through Pakistan before the routes are re-opened.

Speaking to The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity, a Nato official said that the ISAF nations would pay the commercial operators for services to transport the cargo. Nato declined to divulge the details of the agreement, but said that an agreement has been reached “to the mutual satisfaction of all parties involved.”

The Nato official said that they are also working with Russia on a rail-air option through Ulyanovsk that would help them transport non-lethal goods, as well as talking to Pakistan about re-opening the supply routes.

“Once completed, all these agreements will give us a range of new options and the robust and flexible transport network we need for the transport of non-lethal goods from Afghanistan,” said the
official.

The US is due to withdraw 23000 of its 130,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012. France, a Nato partner, is also due to withdraw its 4000 troops from the country.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Zaikam
    Jun 7, 2012 - 2:22AM

    Please let them try this option. We needed to distance ourselves from this war of terror in first place. Anyhow lets wait and watch. If they don’t come our way its better of all, if they are forced to then ask them to pay $10000/- container. They’ve been enjoying free rides for almost a decade and then we hear every other day “US gives Pakistan billions in assistance”. Lets leave their assistance and charge them for using the services in a better way.

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  • Amjad
    Jun 7, 2012 - 3:36AM

    I think NATO can ill afford to spend billions on the more expensive Central Asian route when the South European countries are all going bankrupt.

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  • Thoughtful
    Jun 7, 2012 - 7:32AM

    The maths is clear. The Northern route is more expensive but cutting the csf money will more than adequately pay for it.

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  • Jun 7, 2012 - 8:01AM

    @Zaikam:

    So, you are going to ignore all the aid or payment that the US has made in the last decade?

    I know Pakistan has suffered huge financial losses, but it should have thought of that before jumping into this war.

    Now, you are in it, deal with it. Since, Pakistan has been busy protecting so many Terrorists, the World will find an easy scapegoat for Afghanistan.

    I hear sanction bells.

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    Jun 7, 2012 - 8:08AM

    In English the idiom “He who laughs last, laughs best” is quite serving for Pakistan, after a long time of being told to do more??? It comes from the German “Wer zuletzt lacht, lacht am besten.” ET you should use the idiom to tell NATO what they can do to themselves.

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  • Maher
    Jun 7, 2012 - 9:42AM

    Thank God, USA please consider Central Asian option, we the common Pakistani, will be very thankful for your this act. No more Nato supply from Pakistan, we do not need your money for Nato supply, as we all know that it will go to corrupt politicians….

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  • Noor
    Jun 7, 2012 - 10:29AM

    That means Lethal goods, explosives, etc for bombarding Pakistani areas, will still be required to move through Pakistan.

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Jun 7, 2012 - 2:39PM

    Nato’s negotiations with with Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and Kazakhstan and separate talks with Russia for a transit agreement are time-consuming. The whole business is so insane. No doubt Pakistan and the Nato have their explanations for this insanity.

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