US will not be price 'gouged' by Pakistan: Panetta

By AFP
Published: May 27, 2012
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"We're not about to get gouged in the price. We want a fair price," Panetta said on ABC's "This Week." PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

"We're not about to get gouged in the price. We want a fair price," Panetta said on ABC's "This Week." PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

WASHINGTON: US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta vowed Sunday not to let the United States be “gouged” by Pakistan on the price it charges for overland deliveries of American military supplies to Afghanistan.

Pakistan closed the land route to US supplies in November as punishment for a botched US air strike that mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, but have been in negotiations to reopen the border crossing.

US defense officials have said the Pakistanis are demanding several thousand dollars for every truck crossing its border with the supplies, up from $250 per truck before the closure.

“We’re not about to get gouged in the price. We want a fair price,” Panetta said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Without the Pakistani supply lines, the United States has had to rely on a much longer, more expensive northern route to resupply its forces in Afghanistan.

The supply lines impasse is just one of a host of issues that have opened deep schisms in relations between the two countries, supposed allies in the US battle against Islamic extremists.

Relations plunged to an all-time low after a US raid by US special operations forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a compound in a Pakistani garrison town on May 2, 2011.

The United States has moved gingerly to make up with the Pakistanis, who were incensed that they learned of the raid only after it had been carried out.

But the issue flared anew last week when a Pakistani court sentenced a doctor who helped the United States gather DNA data used to track down bin Laden to 33 years in prison for helping the Americans.

“It is so difficult to understand and it’s so disturbing that they would sentence this doctor to 33 years for helping in the search for the most notorious terrorist in our times,” Panetta said.

“What they have done here,” he added, “does not help in the effort to try to reestablish a relationship between the United States and Pakistan.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee has voted to cut US aid to Pakistan by a symbolic $33 million — $1 million for each year of jail time given to Shakil Afridi, the doctor.

The measure, an amendment to the $52 billion US foreign aid budget, passed in a 30-0 vote in a sign of growing frustration with Pakistan.

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Reader Comments (52)

  • Ali Tanoli
    May 27, 2012 - 11:22PM

    feels like it somebody got BROKE allready…….

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  • Tahir
    May 27, 2012 - 11:29PM

    In other words USA will dictate Pakistan, our leaders have made our country their slaves.

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  • SM
    May 27, 2012 - 11:37PM

    Then pay $ 20,000 to bring in containers from the NDN…

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  • Junaid Ali
    May 27, 2012 - 11:38PM

    $33 million arent imp, Remaining Amount is imp, and they will always keep giving bcoz thry know this Money is what makes our Politicians and Establishment their slaves

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  • saher
    May 27, 2012 - 11:41PM

    that is what the masses wanted, no aid from america…

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  • Jat
    May 27, 2012 - 11:43PM

    We pray that good sense prevails and the NATO supplies are stopped forever.

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  • Asad
    May 27, 2012 - 11:44PM

    This why USA likes working with dictators who help them get their way by bypassing all laws. Now that they are dealing with a democratic government which may be severely fractured but cannot alienate the voters they are having a hard time to get their ridiculous demands implemented. Can Mr. Panetta get a car delivered anywhere in the USA in 250$? And he wants Pakistan to allow them to deliver arms, ammunitions and other supplies across thousands of miles in that price.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 27, 2012 - 11:47PM

    Asking for $ 5000 per container is ridiculous and sheer blackmail. If blockade is something to do with honour, then no price is enough, if its business, then it should be reasonable and according to market price. Blaming NATO trucks for crumbling infrastructure is ridiculous too. There are thousands of kilometers of shattered roads around the country where no NATO truck ever drove. Corrupt contractors, bureaucrates and polticians have found a scapegoat for crumbling infrastructure.

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  • Salma
    May 27, 2012 - 11:51PM

    Americans – Hypocrites!

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  • Mad-Paki
    May 28, 2012 - 12:01AM

    Ok then, US can use northern supply route and pay 7500 dollar for each truck. By the way if you dont need our land route then why all this non-sensical talk.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 28, 2012 - 12:03AM

    @ Asad, $ 250 does not include truck rent, fuel, driver/helper expenses, insurance and toll charges. This amount is over and above all other expenses. I have experience of transportation in Pakistan and abroad, and I would say that around $500 or $ 600 is very reasonable for this much distance. If $ 5000 includes all expenses, then its excellent deal for Americans.

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  • Batman
    May 28, 2012 - 12:10AM

    “What they have done here,” he added, “does not help in the effort to try to reestablish a relationship between the United States and Pakistan.” So much irony here.

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  • DevilHunterX
    May 28, 2012 - 12:11AM

    Capitalism, comrade.

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  • Muneeb
    May 28, 2012 - 12:13AM

    U.S go run around a tree with the speed of light Recommend

  • adam
    May 28, 2012 - 12:14AM

    funny thing is that they dont want pay pakistan but paying double from othar routes through russia ,they r complete broke i live north america i know that they r printing dollars like pakistan printing rupee day and nite i think they shared that idea togather .

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  • May 28, 2012 - 12:16AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    mere bhai, the PPP minister for communication himself said that Pakistan has spent over $1billion 36million repairing damaged highways, damaged specifically due to NATO supply routes.Kindly form your opinions after reading and researching :) Recommend

  • Nasir
    May 28, 2012 - 12:19AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    You cannot hide yourself in Pakistani name when your frustration is showing that you are either an American or Indian.

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  • May 28, 2012 - 12:21AM

    Panetta says no to blood money. Americans will not pay to kill Afghans.

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  • wali baba
    May 28, 2012 - 12:51AM

    Its a shame we are selling our selves for higher rates. No apology no routes. If apology even then no routes shame on our politicians shame on american puppets

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  • Romm
    May 28, 2012 - 1:08AM

    Ch Allah Dad Sahib
    Jatay choor ki Langotey hi Sahee.
    I can’t see any Indian troll around. I believe they are frustrated with our able leadership. where is Vasan, Babloo, Kumar and etc etc etc… I am addicted to their long but venomous writtings against Pakistan. their Pakistani Mania/phobia gives me pleasure and confidence in state of Pakistan.

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  • Ismael
    May 28, 2012 - 1:25AM

    I find that their actions are justified against the US. The United States cannot just do whatever they like such as intruding a country without notifying them even if it means that it is resulted in the death of the most notorious terrorist. That is just spitting on Pakistan’s sovereignty and then there is a American agent who kills two Pakistanis and then flees. How can we blame hem for their hostility towards the United States?

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  • Whyman
    May 28, 2012 - 1:29AM

    US To Pakistan, “Do More “. Pakistan Response T US ” Pay More “.

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  • Babloo
    May 28, 2012 - 1:29AM

    As an observer, I am enjoying every bit of this drama. The greatest ally, now charged with “price gouging” and extortion ?

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  • Wtf
    May 28, 2012 - 1:33AM

    The Pakistani people are opposed to it do it is a non-issue

    Why even discuss it anymore?

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  • Californian
    May 28, 2012 - 1:36AM

    What is the definition of the pakistani phrase “namak haram”?

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  • Knotty
    May 28, 2012 - 1:40AM

    Take it or leave it!!!
    .
    US should also justify charging 30,000 dollars to International (Pakistani) student, while an American pays far less (and even that paid through grants/loans)
    .
    We decide what we charge our local container and an International one!!!!!

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  • kaalchakra
    May 28, 2012 - 1:41AM

    If they pay $20,000 per truck right now, $10,000 per truck is an excellent deal they are getting. For the kind of help they have received from Pakistan, at least $5billion per year for the next 50 years should come to Pakistan.

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  • SNA
    May 28, 2012 - 1:46AM

    chal bay panetta!

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  • saqibtahir
    May 28, 2012 - 1:47AM

    Pakistan is fast moving towards international isolation.

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  • Pak
    May 28, 2012 - 1:57AM

    Pakistan once again choose to dollar instead of pride. Talks of apology has left behind and negotiation is in progress.

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  • Point
    May 28, 2012 - 2:02AM

    US is good in negotiations, Pakistan cannot stand on any foot. They will give you 5000 per container, but will ask security of 1 million if container is bombed.

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  • adam
    May 28, 2012 - 2:18AM

    @ch allah daad shaib panetta shoud hire u as adviser why its all talking about supply routes let them suffer if they dont wana pay tell mr panetta pakistan dont run charity programe it pay as go system now or tell them that we america dont have money let us go freely ,naga to wo pehlay hi hai ab sirf qabool kerney ki baat hai ch shaib ,i remeber i use read afsana of gulam abbas name was overcoat it fit on american situation

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  • Hasan
    May 28, 2012 - 2:35AM

    @Asad:

    Ameen brother, good post.

    Hasan

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  • Nasir
    May 28, 2012 - 2:50AM

    @Nasir: Please stop thinking that everything is a conspiracy and that RAW , Mossad, CIA MI6 is behind all of our problems . We only have ourselves and our leaders to blame – we are not the land Jinnah envisioned we are the land of the mullah now

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  • umair
    May 28, 2012 - 2:50AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    $250 per truck is for the government of pakistan for using their ports and roads

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  • Babloo
    May 28, 2012 - 2:58AM

    The ‘ally’ now stands charged with ‘price gauging’. Think about it.

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  • Lala Gee
    May 28, 2012 - 3:14AM

    US will not be price ‘gouged’ by Pakistan: Panetta

    Sir, you can always use the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), if you do not like Pakistan’s terms. We are not in a position to compel you to use the Pakistani Ground Line of Communication (GLOC) route. It is a simple business decision, no need to be furious.

    As for as punishment of Dr. Afridi is concerned, he is a Pakistani citizen, leniently punished for violating Pakistan’s laws. USA does not have any right to interfere in such cases of internal matters of a sovereign state. Or, do you allow others to interfere in your legal matters. If so, then please free Dr. Afia and Dr. Fai.

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  • Ali
    May 28, 2012 - 3:17AM

    Hey Americans get out from Afghanistan, accept that you lost this war…
    Being Afghani I request Paki authorities not to not allow them anything, again yesterday these losers martyred civilians in my homeland.

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  • Cautious
    May 28, 2012 - 3:17AM

    When a politician say no that often means maybe. When the Defense Secretary says no that usually means “no way – no how” – it’s apparent the American believe
    they have an acceptable albeit more expensive alternative — I hope Pakistan has a Plan B.

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  • Maria
    May 28, 2012 - 3:27AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: You seem to be one obsessed Indian who has a lot of time to post under a phoney name. Why can’t you just use your real Indian name? Pakistan gave away its transit routes for nothing under an ill advised dictator but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to recover the losses they have incurred since the Soviet invasion when Pakistan defeated the Soviets and was left destablized. Think about the trillions the Pakistanis saved the West by ending the Cold War and defeating the Soviets. Now think about the damage to the roads and infrastructure in Pakistan die the last 10 years of war in Afghanistan.

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  • Babloo
    May 28, 2012 - 3:42AM

    None of my comments , about US accusing Pakistan of ‘price gouging and extortion’ in past 10 hours published. Am I under a ban ?

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  • Bhoola
    May 28, 2012 - 4:11AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad
    who are you fooling, We dont want their money and we dont support them in their war. They started it 11 years ago n up till 2008 it was not officially Pakistan war, It was PPP govt which coined this term, “Pakistan’s War on Terror” . Pack your bags n Go home n Hiding under such names doesn’t make ur voice any worth.

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  • Imran Con
    May 28, 2012 - 4:18AM

    @adam:
    funny you make that claim yet never give an accurate statement on conditions here. if you’re not lying you just have to be stupid.

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  • Truthbetold
    May 28, 2012 - 4:35AM

    @Asad:

    “This why USA likes working with dictators who help them get their way by bypassing all laws. Now that they are dealing with a democratic government….”<

    What democratic government? The one that is being controlled like a puppet from the background by the Army establishment? Let’ be truthful here, the “democratic” government is just a facade with the real power in the hands of the army.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 28, 2012 - 4:45AM

    @ Shuweikh Haqqani, In some countries, trucks are weighted and charged but in most of the countries, charges are added with taxes in fuel. As trucks consume more fuel when they are loaded, therefore they pay more to government for transportation of goods. In Pakistan, most of the trucks and buses do not follow weight per excel rules, especially in rural areas tractor trollies loaded with sugar canes are biggest culprits. When NATO supplies commenced 10 years ago, it was Pakistan Government’s responsibility to save her roads from heavy transportation, determine weight per excel, limit speed of 18 wheelers, build special roads for heavy transportation and charge them accordingly. What I meant in my comment was that we cannot single out NATO trucks only. Whole transportation industry and road building departments are corrupt and messed up.

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  • rafiq
    May 28, 2012 - 4:57AM

    brave coming form a looser who spend billion to eliminate few guys with ak47s and still strugling to do the job done and runing away from afghanistan
    i m surprise how american still byuing this lunitic

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 28, 2012 - 5:02AM

    @ Nasir, Please let me know what I said wrong. There are many good people in India and America, therefore I would not be ashamed if I am from them, but I am not. My point is, if its matter of honour, then don’t discuss $250 or $ 5000. We should simply say, NO. If its about amount, then ask fair, reasonable amount. If we think that NATO can be blackmailed, because it has no other choice, then it would be our biggest mistake.

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  • rafiq
    May 28, 2012 - 5:02AM

    @adam:
    so thats why they called afghanistan the grave yard of superpowers
    oh no we need to find a new superpower now

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  • Lala Gee
    May 28, 2012 - 11:52AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:

    “If its about amount, then ask fair, reasonable amount. If we think that NATO can be blackmailed, because it has no other choice, then it would be our biggest mistake.”

    You need to understand that it is not just the cost of covering the current road damages, but it also contains in part the costs GOP spent on building and maintaining the roads in the past 11 years. Moreover, opening GLOC also have indirect consequences, like retaliatory bomb blasts resulting in life and infrastructure damage, increased medical expenses for the injured, costs of putting extra security, etc. etc. Previously all these costs were born by GOP, now they are asking USA to share some burden.

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  • Ahmad Bilal
    May 28, 2012 - 2:27PM

    Message to the USA: pay up or go somewhere else.Recommend

  • himanshu
    May 28, 2012 - 5:04PM

    @Nasir:
    why dragging indians into this ..

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  • Rajendra Rana
    May 29, 2012 - 7:49AM

    @Ahmad Bilal:
    They will go through without paying , u will see that soon

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