PESHAWAR: Pakistan is doubling the capacity for NATO trucks at a key border crossing, officials said Monday, to speed up processing for an expected influx of supplies for troops in Afghanistan.
Customs officials at Torkham border crossing in the country’s troubled northwest told AFP that work had begun to expand dedicated parking for NATO containers.
Islamabad agreed to reopen overland routes to NATO convoys last week after a seven-month blockade sparked by a botched US air raid on a border post that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
“After expansion the parking capacity for NATO trucks will be doubled,” Obaidullah Khan, a customs official at Torkham, the closest border crossing to Kabul, told AFP.
“Prior to the closure the terminal had a parking capacity of 250 vehicles and now we are expanding it to 500.”
Khan said work was also under way on two special rooms for customs officers dealing with paperwork for NATO vehicles to speed up their transit into Afghanistan.
Security at the crossing is being boosted, Khan said, to foil Taliban militants who have vowed to attack NATO trucks and kill their crews.
Four checkpoints have been set up around the Torkham terminal and the number of security personnel will be raised from the previous level of 550.
“No NATO supply vehicle will be allowed to pass a night at Torkham, even if we need to work for extra time,” Khan said.
Meraj Khan, an administrative official at Torkham confirmed the details.