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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs