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Pak admits allowing NATO to use airspace for ferrying supplies to troops in Afghanistan

Islamabad, Wed, 15 Feb 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Feb 15 (ANI): Pakistan Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar has admitted that Islamabad has allowed NATO to use its airspace for ferrying supplies to troops stationed in Afghanistan.


"We have allowed them to transport food items by air to Afghanistan, since they were perishable. However, we have also told them not to bring more food supplies," The Express Tribune quoted Mukhtar, as saying.


Last week, US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter had revealed that the Western forces stationed in Afghanistan were using Pakistan's airspace for crucial supplies.


The US wants Pakistan to lift the NATO supply route embargo since the financial cost of supplies through alternative means is much higher.


The issue of resumption of NATO supplies was one of the key topics that came under discussion during Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's recent visit to Moscow, say diplomatic sources.


The Russian government not only endorsed Pakistan's decision to shut down NATO supplies, but it also encouraged Islamabad to maintain the ban, sources said.


Yesterday, Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had said only parliament had the right to decide on the resumption of NATO supplies, which was halted following the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in NATO attacks. Parliament reserves the right to decide the resumption of NATO supplies," General Kayani had said.


He hinted at Pakistan's improved coordination with the United States over conducting operations at the Afghan border. (ANI)


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