QUETTA: As many as 20 Nato containers and trailers carrying military equipment entered Pakistan from the Chaman border in Balochistan across the Vesh Mandi border of Afghanistan on Wednesday. The containers left for Karachi for further shipment.
The containers carrying military hardware, goods and tanks that were parked on the Afghan side of the border got clearance on Wednesday to enter Pakistan.
Stringent security measures have been adopted in the bordering town. The containers moved towards Karachi in a huge convoy. Nato has started its exit from Afghanistan a few months ago.
Custom officials are giving clearance to Nato containers after checking all required documents at the Chaman border.
The Nato supply to Afghanistan from Karachi via Balochistan is also continuing without interruption. However, comparatively fewer containers were seen at the Chaman border headed into Afghanistan.
Pentagon spokesperson Mark Wright said on Tuesday that the US had “voluntarily halted” shipments of cargo leaving Afghanistan through the Torkham border crossing in K-P. Torkham was meant to be a key transit point used by the Americans and Nato to withdraw military hardware from Afghanistan, as part of a troop pullout set to wrap up by the end of 2014.
The decision came after PTI-led activists setting up unofficial checkpoints to block Nato supply routes in K-P since November 24, after a call by PTI chairman Imran Khan.
Imran demanded the government block Nato supplies after a US drone strike that killed the late Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud, but Islamabad has shown no appetite for such a move.
Imran Khan on Tuesday said his party was considering blocking Nato supply routes in other provinces as well.
Aside from Torkham and Chaman, the United States has alternative routes available to Afghanistan’s north through Central Asia, though those options take longer and are more expensive. About half of US cargo is being taken out through Pakistan, with the remainder being removed by aircraft or a combination of planes and then ships at regional ports.