“No timeframe” for reopening NATO supply line: Pak FO

October 5th, 2010 - 1:54 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Oct 5 (ANI): In the wake of the Pak-US standoff following a key NATO supply route blockage by Pakistan in retaliation against cross-border air strikes by the ISAF, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit has stated that the concerned route will be reopened for the coalition troops in Afghanistan only after public anger over the NATO incursions subsides and the security situation improves.

“Unless the reaction cools down and we make sure that the supply line is secured, we cannot reopen it,” The News quoted Basit, as saying.

“It’s just because of security reasons. There’s no timeframe. I think it should be done soon,” he added.

Basit pointed out that although Pakistan was responsible for the safety of the NATO supply line, its tankers were burnt at different places because of public resentment in the country.

Meanwhile, a Pakistani military official has disclosed that a joint investigation of the incident has been started by Pakistan and NATO.

“In such a situation, allowing these trucks to carry on with their journey would be inviting more attacks so there’s no need to rush,” added the official.

Last week, the three Pakistani army men were killed in an early morning air strike by NATO helicopters at a military post in Kurram Agency, reacting to which, the nation had suspended supply convoys along the Khyber Pass route, and lodged a protest with the NATO command in Brussels, demanding an apology for the killings as well as intrusions in Pakistani territory.

As about 80 per cent of Nato’s supplies transit through Pakistan, it is believed that the temporary stoppage was meant to remind the US how much it depended on the Asian nation for sustaining its military operations in Afghanistan.

According to analysts, the Shikarpur attack on oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan was just an indication of what could happen if Pakistan were to stop providing security to the convoys. (ANI)

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