News / Asia

US: Pakistan to Reopen Supply Routes to Afghanistan

Pakistani paramilitary soldiers stand alongside trucks carrying NATO supplies at the border town of Chamam, Pakistan, September 30, 2010.
Pakistani paramilitary soldiers stand alongside trucks carrying NATO supplies at the border town of Chamam, Pakistan, September 30, 2010.
TEXT SIZE - +
Suzanne Presto
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that Pakistan will reopen key NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, after having closed them in response to a deadly NATO airstrike last year.  The development comes months after Pakistan demanded that the United States apologize for the incident.  

Clinton says she spoke by telephone with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and again expressed "deepest regrets" for the airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani troops in November.

In a statement, Clinton said Khar advised her that vital supply routes to Afghanistan, formally known as the "ground lines of communication," or GLOC, will be reopening.  She said no lethal equipment will transit into Afghanistan, unless it is to equip Afghan National Security Forces.  

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that Clinton's statement makes clear that mistakes made on both sides led to the tragic accident last year.

"There was an investigation," said nuland. "There was a U.S. investigation; there was a Pakistani investigation.  We have all the way through this expressed our regret for the loss of life."

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta welcomed the reopening of the supply routes, as did the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, U.S. Marine Corps General John Allen.

NATO has had to rely on the more costly Central Asian routes to Afghanistan since the closure of the Pakistani routes.  Defense Department officials say that amounts to an additional $100 million each month to transport supplies.   

The State Department's Victoria Nuland says there will be no additional fees paid to Pakistan for use of the supply routes, or GLOCs.  But she noted that there are regular commercial costs associated with transporting supplies through Pakistan.

"Let me start by saying that the secretary of defense has spoken to the fact that it was expensive for us during the period when the GLOCs were closed," she said. "One of the things that has resulted from this is that we have restored the GLOCs, and we are going to be paying the exact same amount as we were paying before.  So we are back to significant savings here."

U.S.-Pakistan relations have been strained in recent months.  Security analyst Anthony Cordesman at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies says it is unclear how long this improvement in relations will last.

"It hasn't changed Pakistan's basic political positions," said Cordesman. "It hasn't meant they're going to attack the Taliban or the Haqqani network sanctuaries in Pakistan.  Recent polls indicate that Pakistani public opinion is now even more anti-American than in the past, so there is a risk and a sacrifice for the Pakistani government."

Cordesman says it is important for the United States to get the supply routes through Pakistan open because they will be essential to the planned U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yemil from: COLORADO
July 03, 2012 4:44 PM
I'll that apology was delivered with a nice little gift from the American taxpayer.....!


by: Raif from: Canada
July 03, 2012 4:21 PM
It appears as though the Central Asian Route is pretty expensive to, like $1.1 billion dollars is chump change maybe !


by: Raif from: Canada
July 03, 2012 4:14 PM
I've heard of tolls but when you have to appolagize to, that is a bit hard to swallow.


by: Dr. Malek Towghi/Tauqee from: USA
July 03, 2012 2:53 PM
Does this mean that Pakistan has been given green light to continue its slow genocide of my helpless people, the Baluchs? (Malek Towghi/Tauqee, Liaison, Baluch/Baloch Human Rights International)

In Response

by: Kamran Ali from: Pakistan
July 04, 2012 8:58 AM
Dr Malik are you Pakistani Balouch ?


by: sony permadi from: solo , indonesia
July 03, 2012 1:19 PM
let make peace in the world, to increase wealfare life people in every where...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid