Pakistan haggling with US for 5,000 dollars transit fee for each NATO container
Lahore, May 18 (ANI): Pakistani negotiators have proposed a fee of about 5,000 dollars for each NATO shipping container and tanker that transits its territory by land into and out of Afghanistan, said a Washington Post report.
The amount is a key sticking point in discussions about the terms of a deal that would allow the traffic to resume, about six months after Pakistan closed its border crossings, reports the Daily Times.
Officials said a deal was imminent, after they reached agreement in principle on reopening the transit corridors, but that the details were being negotiated.
"The framework is ready, but we are now looking at rates," the paper quoted a Pakistani official as saying.
Pakistani officials said they had also taken into account their belief that NATO, by using alternative, far longer transport routes through Central Asia, is paying at least double the amount they had requested.
U.S. officials have pointed out that the United States had given Pakistan billions over the past decade as compensation for its counterterrorism efforts. That money was expected to be discontinued as the new arrangements are put in place, the paper claimed.
Pakistan says it is still owed more than 3 billion dollars for past operations; the United States puts the figure at about 1.3 billion dollars.
The transport agreement is being considered as a matter separate from other aspects of the bilateral security relationship, including Pakistan's rejection of U.S. drone attacks inside its borders. Discussions on that issue are continuing between senior intelligence officials. (ANI)
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