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

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora