New beginnings, new rules: Pakistan, US set to sign NATO supply deal today

Published: July 31, 2012
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According to the new accord, Pakistan will not allow transportation of arms and ammunition, as demanded by parliament in its foreign policy recommendations approved in April. However, military equipment for the Afghan National Army would be permitted to pass through the country. PHOTO: FILE

According to the new accord, Pakistan will not allow transportation of arms and ammunition, as demanded by parliament in its foreign policy recommendations approved in April. However, military equipment for the Afghan National Army would be permitted to pass through the country. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Closing the chapter on weeks of hard-talk and gruelling negotiations, a new agreement on Nato supplies through Pakistan is to be signed today (Tuesday) in Islamabad by senior officials from Pakistan and the US.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will replace the existing arrangement that had been in place since 2004. The new deal was part of an overall review Pakistan had sought in its ties with the US in the wake of last year’s Nato cross-border raid which killed 24 soldiers — consequently causing the suspension of the ground lines of communication for Nato-led foreign forces in Afghanistan for over seven months.

However, earlier this month, Pakistan formally agreed to lift the ban on the supplies for Nato forces after the US apologised for the killings.

Last week, the federal cabinet formally approved the new deal the two countries had been able to finalise after weeks of intense negotiations. Washington managed to convince Islamabad to drop its earlier demand of imposing an additional transit fee on Nato containers in return for an apology for the Salala incident and the release of long overdue finances from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), which are reimbursements for expenses accrued in the war on terror.

According to the new accord, Pakistan will not allow transportation of arms and ammunition, as demanded by parliament in its foreign policy recommendations approved in April. However, military equipment for the Afghan National Army would be permitted to pass through the country.

Two routes have been identified for containers carrying Nato goods — southern and northern routes. Containers on the southern route will travel to Afghanistan from Karachi (Bin Qasim Port) via Chaman while the northern route caters to supplies from Karachi (Bin Qasim Port) via Torkham to Afghanistan.

According to the new MoU, Pakistan will not provide any warehouses or storage facilities for Nato goods.

It also authorises Pakistani authorities to stop the supply of goods that do not fall within the parameters of the new deal. Pakistan has agreed to provide facilities for security and quick transfer of the cargo and will keep the US informed about the monitoring and transit points of the shipments.

But it makes clear that the government will not take any responsibility of damage to commercial carriers. Under the new arrangement, the defence ministry will act as a central coordination authority to monitor the supplies.

In order to ensure the implementation of the new agreement, it was decided that officials from both sides will meet regularly.

The fresh MoU will be valid till December 31, 2015, but could be extended for one year after mutual consultations.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2012.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Faisal Khan
    Jul 31, 2012 - 3:39AM

    Basically the new deal is following:

    You do what the USA wants to do or ull die starving…

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  • Maria
    Jul 31, 2012 - 4:27AM

    Where is there mention of the provision for the upgrade of Pakistan’s roads and infrastructure that have been damaged by years of carrying goods for free due to the short sightedness of the last dictator Musharraf?

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  • Jul 31, 2012 - 7:31AM

    I hope the murdered soldiers life was worth this.

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  • Jul 31, 2012 - 7:51AM

    Something which was informal and flexible has been put into a document, with US getting everything it wanted.

    The tone of the article suggests Pakistan is gaining something extra with this deal. I can’t see what.

    The next time Pakistan wants to stop the NATO supply routes, US will wave this deal in front of the Pakistanis and ask reimbursement for losses! I am very curious to know what are the repercussions of stopping the NATO routes. I am very sure US would have inserted something to their advantage.

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  • gp65
    Jul 31, 2012 - 9:50AM

    “According to the new accord, Pakistan will not allow transportation of arms and ammunition, as demanded by parliament in its foreign policy recommendations approved in April. However, military equipment for the Afghan National Army would be permitted to pass through the country.”

    So how will Pakistan differentiate between arms for NATO/ISAF vs. arms for Afghan National army? This is just a ruse to pull the wool over those Pakistanis that are gullible (clearly not all are).

    Also what is the logic of not allowing for NATO who actually provides coaliation support fund and allowing for Afghan national army?

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Jul 31, 2012 - 10:52AM

    @gp65:
    I agree with you fully here on your this stance.Because there is no any specific difference between arms and ammunition under the usage of NATO’s and US’ forces and Afghan forces and definitely lethal weapons shall be transported in the containers useable for NATO’s and US’ forces……

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  • Arif Mehsoud
    Jul 31, 2012 - 11:58AM

    Pakistan is under the domination of America.We are criticized Afghan government, but we were already under the domination of England and America.

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  • Polpot
    Jul 31, 2012 - 1:20PM

    Humpty Dumpty had a great Fall
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    This, after a demand for USD 5000 per container.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 31, 2012 - 1:44PM

    So what is the amount being paid now for container ? As all this BS was about money and nothing else !
    Addtionally, Pak knows that they simply will not be able to check any container for their manifest either ! But this is for local consumption !

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  • USMAN786
    Jul 31, 2012 - 2:18PM

    Please donot sell the nation cheap or u r getting commission on this too

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  • Hegdefunder
    Jul 31, 2012 - 3:26PM

    @USMAN786:
    Please donot sell the nation cheap or u r getting commission on this too

    This Nation has never been sold on the cheap, unfortunately the money does not arrive in Pakistan for the benefit of its people but lands in the off shore and foreign bank accounts of the Elites, who have been fooling the people of this Country for past six decades !

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