Reopen NATO supply routes so that we can leave Afghanistan: U.S. to Pak
Chicago, May 22 (ANI): The declaration by U.S. President Barack Obama at the NATO Summit clearly states that Pakistan should help the U.S. withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by reopening the supply routes.
NATO officials and some diplomats have said Pakistan should understand that by reopening the border, it will facilitate the departure of U.S. and other combat forces from Afghanistan- a move which Pakistan's political forces desire.
In the declaration, Russia and Central Asian countries received kudos for cooperating on supply routes for NATO's Afghanistan campaign, while Pakistan got a cold shoulder, reports the Christian Science Monitor.
"We welcome the progress on transit arrangements with our Central Asian partners and Russia," the declaration said, adding, "NATO continues to work with Pakistan to reopen the ground lines of communication as soon as possible."
Pakistan had closed the crossings to NATO last November after an U.S. air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at a border outpost.
The U.S. has been in talks with Pakistan since April to resolve the border issue, and by the summit's eve last week, both sides reported enough progress for NATO to invite Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to the Summit.
But no agreement was forthcoming, and the border issue turned into one of the summit's few contentious notes. Obama refused to meet with Zardari, and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called off a planned meeting with the Pakistani leader.
The reason of the impasse is the amount Pakistan has demanded to reopen the routes. Pakistan is ready to reopen the borders, at 5,000 dollars per truck as opposed to the previous amount of 250 dollars. (ANI)
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