News / Asia

NATO Afghan Supply Convoys Resume

Drivers of oil tankers, which were used to transport NATO fuel supplies to Afghanistan, gather next to their tankers parked in Karachi, Pakistan, July 4, 2012
Drivers of oil tankers, which were used to transport NATO fuel supplies to Afghanistan, gather next to their tankers parked in Karachi, Pakistan, July 4, 2012
Ayaz Gul
ISLAMABAD — Just one day after Pakistan decided to reopen NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, drivers who have been waiting for months are ready to get their supply convoys moving.  But as the reopening comes with drivers' calls for increased security.

Most of the truck drivers have been sitting idle since late last year when Pakistan blocked the NATO supply lines to protest a cross-border coalition raid that mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops.

Pakistani leaders had linked the reopening of the border crossings to a formal U.S. apology for the deadly assault. The incident plunged bilateral ties to an all-time low.

For nearly eight months, the Obama administration offered regrets and condolences but no unconditional apology for the attack.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ended the stalemate by saying "sorry" for the loss of life. However, she reiterated that mistakes on both sides led to the airstrikes on Pakistan military posts. Islamabad swiftly responded to her statement by agreeing to reopen the supply lines.

Pakistan's Cabinet endorsed the decision Wednesday.  Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira later defended the restoration of the supply routes.

The minister says Pakistan took the decision in order to help both the security transition in Afghanistan and return of international forces from the country.  As he put it, Pakistan ultimately wants a sovereign government in Afghanistan and that it would be in the interest of the neighbors.  

Truck drivers are praising the reopening of the supply lines, saying they will finally be able to feed their families after months of unemployment.

But their excitement is tempered by the Pakistani Taliban's threat to attack the convoys, saying the supplies are being used against fellow fighters battling international forces in Afghanistan.  

Nawab Sher Afridi is a representative of All Pakistan Oil Tanker Owners Association. He tells VOA that truckers are readying their vehicles to ferry supplies from the southern port city of Karachi to the border towns - Torkham and Chaman - in the country's north and southwest. But he says they need extra protection.

He says security will be the most important need for the drivers and that he hopes the Pakistani government will coordinate with his association to ensure truckers’ protection.

Taliban insurgents have attacked and torched these convoys in the past, killing dozens of people.

Under the deal that led to reopening of the supply lines, the United States will release held-up payments of more than $1 billion to reimburse Pakistan's military for the cost of counter-insurgency operations.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Raw from: Full
July 04, 2012 12:03 PM
Lol, who cares

by: Phil Cooper from: San Jose, California
July 04, 2012 12:02 PM
"NATO" is code-speak for "American", as in "NATO casualties".

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More