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NATO supply line resumes through Pakistan

07-06-2012 00:10 BJT

Trucks carrying NATO supplies have resumed their journeys through Pakistan to Afghanistan, after Pakistan ended its seven-month blockade. Pakistan says it agreed to re-open the supply routes after the United States accepted all its demands. But many Pakistanis are angry at the government’s decision.

The first shipment through Pakistan in 7 months, the first truck carrying NATO supplies left Port Qasim terminal in Karachi to cross the border into neighboring Afghanistan.

Pakistan agreed to reopen the supply line on Tuesday, after US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, apologised for the NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last November. The attack prompted Pakistan to close the route, severely damaging already strained relations between the two countries.

Qamar Zaman Kaira, Information Minister, said, "America has accepted Pakistan’s principled stand on an apology, and has agreed to work in unison with Pakistan in the war against terrorism. They have declared that in the future Pakistan’s sovereignty will not be compromised. They have also reaffirmed that they respect Pakistan’s sovereignty. These were Pakistan’s demands which have been accepted."

But many Pakistanis are frustrated by the government’s decision.

Mohammad Saleem, trader, said, "America is killing Pakistanis all the time. Should they be forgiven on the basis of an apology? Is one word - "sorry" - enough to absolve them?"

The reopening could save the US hundreds of millions of dollars, as Pakistan’s blockade forced Washington to rely more heavily on a longer, costlier route through Central Asia. Pakistan is also expected to gain financially, since the US intends to free up over 1 billion US dollars in military aid, frozen for the past year.

But disagreements over issues like American drone strikes and Islamabad’s alleged support for Taliban militants still hamper a relationship vital to stabilizing neighboring Afghanistan.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: CNTV.CN

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