NATO supplies: Pakistan, US sign new deal

US to release $1.1b, Pakistan given right to reject shipment, lethal supplies not allowed.

Kamran Yousaf July 31, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United States signed a new deal on Tuesday governing arrangements for Nato convoys travelling to Afghanistan until the end of 2015. The new deal replaces verbal arrangements in place since the Musharraf-era, and signals yet another step towards gradual rapprochement between the two allies.

The pact, signed by Additional Defence Secretary Rear Admiral Farrokh Ahmed and Deputy US Ambassador in Islamabad Richard Hoagland, was the culmination of protracted negotiations over a period of seven months, in which the fractious allies fought hard to secure their respective interests.

Seemingly a quid-pro-quo arrangement, the agreement inked at the defence ministry in Rawalpindi will see the US release $1.1 billion due under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) to reimburse Pakistan for its efforts in the war on terror, in exchange for the reopening of vital supply lines into Afghanistan.

Hoagland told reporters that Washington would release the funds following the formalisation of the new deal. The US last released CSF payments to Pakistan in December 2010, amounting to about $633  million (approximately Rs55 billion).

Officials at the ceremony gave no details of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) nor did they release a copy at a news conference.

The development comes just a day before the chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence, Lieutenant General Zaheerul Islam, begins a three-day visit to Washington for talks with the head of the CIA.

‘Increased transparency’

Richard Hoagland hailed the MoU between the two governments.

“This MoU is a demonstration of increased transparency and openness between our governments, in respect of Pakistan’s sovereignty as requested by the Pakistani parliament,” he said, adding that the process had also opened new channels for the two countries to resolve other issues.

“Of course, it’s clear to our political leadership in both capitals ... that we have a number of other issues to work on,” he added. Newly appointed Defence Secretary Asif Yasin Malik, who attended the ceremony, said the deal would contribute to the stability of the region and hailed it as a “landmark achievement.”

“With this agreement, there are no grey areas left in the process,” said Malik.

Islamabad agreed to reopen land routes for Nato goods on July 3 – ending the longest border closure of the decade-long war in Afghanistan.

The closure was in protest against Nato air raids that killed 24 Pakistani troops last November. However, a row over security guarantees and compensation has delayed a resumption of normal traffic.

Parliament’s guidelines

The deal lasts until the end of 2015, well beyond the 2014 departure date for the bulk of Nato’s 130,000 combat troops from Afghanistan, and can be renewed for one-year intervals beyond that.

Interestingly, both countries can discontinue the MoU at any time by informing each other in advance

The deal specifies routes to be taken and has a list running to several pages of lethal supplies that may not be transported through Pakistan, as per the guidelines laid out by parliament earlier this year, although armoured vehicles and Humvees are permitted provided they are not mounted with weapons. However, Afghan security forces are exempt from this clause.

Furthermore, a central coordination authority will also be established at the defence ministry to monitor Nato supplies. In order to ensure the implementation of the new agreement, officials from both sides will meet regularly.

A Pakistani security official said the agreement gave Islamabad the right to refuse or reject any shipment and special radio chips would be fitted to containers for monitoring.

(Read: New deal on NATO supplies)

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2012.


Sultan Ahmed | 10 years ago | Reply

It is an unreliable, you can't trust them,you can't abandon them.

Sultan Ahmed | 10 years ago | Reply

Pakistan's decision to reopening overland supply routs into Afghanistan may be sight boost for Washington and Islamabad ties, but there is much more wrangling a head,as the United States set up its planes to withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

The agreement,singed by the major ally has been extended to 2015,It mean state depart is not sure about its repatriation in 2014.

Training is being provided to the Afghan people specially supporters of present government and American existence in the region.

Every thing keeping in mind attributed to the decade long war analysis says that foreign forces stationed in land locked country, their total withdrawal is impossible. United States at the end of 2015 would seek more time for repatriation.

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