Six times the cost: Pakistan Nato blockade proves costly for US

Published: January 20, 2012
Pakistan shut two border crossings for Nato containers after a US air strike killed at least 23 soldiers in November. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan shut two border crossings for Nato containers after a US air strike killed at least 23 soldiers in November. PHOTO: AFP

Sending war supplies to Afghanistan is six times more expensive than before for the United States due of Pakistan shutting two of its border crossings for Nato containers, The Associated Press has reported.

Pakistan took this step after a Nato air strike killed at least 23 soldiers at Salala check post in November last year.

According to reports, it costs US $104 million per month to send the supplies through a different route now, which is $87 million more than when the freight went through Pakistan.

US officials said that costs are not likely decrease in the near future, since US-Pakistan relations remain tense.

However earlier there were contradictory media reports that Pakistan is expected to re-open supply routes to Nato forces in Afghanistan soon. While a foreign ministry spokesperson described such reports as speculative, diplomatic sources  confirmed that Islamabad had given the nod for the resumption of Nato supplies once parliament approves new terms of engagements with the US.

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 (Isaf) ships into Afghanistan.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • zain
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:52PM

    this is also shows how much lost our establishment and politicians made to this country by not imposing legitimate tax on NATO supplies


  • Sweet Dee
    Jan 20, 2012 - 2:02PM



  • Rana
    Jan 20, 2012 - 2:19PM

    US about come on its knees!! Keep tightening screws….


  • Liberalache
    Jan 20, 2012 - 2:26PM

    Ok…so for America’s US$ 1 trillion defense budget…its gonna cost .1% a year instead of .03% a year….wow…what an impact we have!


  • Jan 20, 2012 - 2:45PM

    US, must stop violating the internationally accepted rules for engagement in between the countries. Now better ‘they should pack up from the area.Try for the stoppages to atrocities/stop use of power in Afghanistan and surroundings .Let peace’ to be negotiated with all the sufferers.Because now this War is non affordable for US and the Allies as well.


  • zaheeer babar
    Jan 20, 2012 - 3:11PM

    Damages to roads due NATO supplies
    This is with reference to a statement by one of officials, that our roads suffered a loss of Rs 40 Billion due to supplies to Afghanistan. In my opinion this estimate is based on incorrect information. The 1,050,000 supplies to US and NATO heavy trucks and fuel tankers in the last 10 years, severely damaged Pakistan’s infrastructure. The total length of Karachi to Chamman and to Thorkhum is 3000 Kms. The road is severely damaged and immediate rehabilitation is required for future use. The estimate for rehabilitation of 3000 kms road is given as under.
    The cost of 20 cms paved Agg base+ earth works, for 7.5m +4m shoulders = Rs 30 Billion
    The cost of 15 cms Asphaltic base and wearing course = Rs 130 Billion
    15000 drainage structures’/ Bridges’ rehabilitation = Rs 160 Billion
    Admn & Engineering costs @ 15% = Rs 50 Billion
    This total cost of Rs 370 Billion or US$ 4.11 billion must be charged before opening the road to Nato against the damages already done. The levy of 6000 dollars also is required to be imposed on each single loaded truck or fuel tanker which will be about 500 million dollars/year.


  • sadhu
    Jan 20, 2012 - 3:49PM

    Talk to Pak FM before celebrating. The money will most probably adjusted against the aid to Pakistan. Ha ha ha.


  • Surprised
    Jan 20, 2012 - 4:15PM

    We are charging them for killing our brothers in Afghanistan……….Shame on us for allowing it at all


  • Chengez K
    Jan 20, 2012 - 5:23PM

    It means even if we had charged 50 % of what they pay to Northern route they would have paid us about $ 6 Billion for last 10 years.

    This is more than the silly aid that we actually got with all kind of disgraceful strings….

    Were our Generals & politicians sleeping for last 10 years??


  • JSM
    Jan 20, 2012 - 5:58PM

    US must have workwd their cost balances- pay more for shipments and stop aid to Pakistan.


  • Amjad
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:43PM

    Imagine how much money Pakistan has lost due to Musharraf gifting away transit rights. We don’t need a penny of aid, just pay Pakistan the same transit fee that is paid to the Central Asians and Russians instead of expecting Pakistan to do everything for free with limited resources. Pakistan defeated the Soviets in Afghanistan for nothing. Think about how much Pakistan saved the West by defeating the Soviets, bringing down communism, ending the Cold War and then dealing with the instability in the region after the West dumped all the foreign fighters in the region.


  • John B
    Jan 20, 2012 - 7:07PM

    So what? $87 million more /month is pittance.

    $1 billion more annually to the cost is nothing compared to how much material is stolen or lost en route to Afghanistan. At the end of the day, it will be deducted from charity account of PAK, any way.

    PAK action is a blessing in disguise for US and US has firmly established a strategic relationship with Central Asian neighbors.

    All said, the route will be opened fully by March.


  • Cautious
    Jan 20, 2012 - 9:39PM

    In case you haven’t noticed – when it comes to war the American’s seem to have a never ending supply of money. Further — if you were rich and had a choice between an expensive but dependable supply source and Pakistan – who would you choose. I also suspect the America taxpayers would be willing to do just about anything to stop their govt from giving one more dime to the country that was caught harboring OBL.


  • Jan 21, 2012 - 12:46AM

    US is desperately trying to cut their defense budget and these kind of expenses will make impossible to do that. They wanted to expand this war to Pakistan and then Iran and If we will allow them to use our land for their supply freely, we will prove ourselves biggest fool on earth because this supply will eventually be used against us…


  • Grace
    Jan 21, 2012 - 12:46AM

    @Cautious: From your vatage point in India, it is easy to say that Americans are happy to pay 6 times more but trust me, your average American taxpayer is upset about wasting funds on foreign wars. Moreover, your astute American citizen also knows full well that OBL was working for the US to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan when he was funded by the West and supported. The West knows that the militants went rogue and were able to take advantage of the destablized border region of Pakistan after the West itself abandoned Pakistan. So you can try to paint OBL as a Pakistani story but most western observers know the bigger picture which is why there is little criticism of Pakistan apart from some Indian supported media hacks in the US. Getting back to the fee paid for transit facility through Pakistan, it should be raised and Pakistan should ask that the entire road network of the region be upgraded and repaired to compensate for the damage done and lost income due to the past dictator’s short sighted policies.


  • USMANx
    Jan 21, 2012 - 3:14AM


    Indian, this is our internal matter.


  • Cautious
    Jan 21, 2012 - 3:51AM

    @Grace. You actually believe the American public doesn’t have a problem with Pakistan hiding/supporting OBL — all because the American govt gave arms to the Mujahideen during the Soviet/Afghan war? Thanks for confirming my suspicion that most Pakistani’s have limited understanding of how the World perceives OBL.


  • khabar
    Jan 22, 2012 - 8:00AM

    @john:US itself is going through worst ever economic crisis of history,how can she afford to give charity to other countries.plz stop watching CIA controlled US media which is portraying all is well in america and watch any authentic channel like RussiaTv.only then you will realize how poor americans are!who thought millions of homeless americans would be living in tent cities.this is the time for americans to accept reality and put their Egoism on side.


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