Thursday, 2 February 2012

Pakistan to Reopen NATO Supply Lines?

Since the attack on the Pakistani border posts last year, NATO has had no supply lines into Afghanistan fromt he south. Now, the Pakistani government has signaled that it will press its parliament to allow the reopening of NATO supply lines to Afghanistan very soon. (See this AFP story).

It is likely that Pakistan will in future tax convoys passing through its territory, but given the strategic difficulties of supplying Afghanistan from the north or by air, that's a tax NATO will have to pay.

The government cannot be sure it will win this debate, and indeed Jamaat-e-Islami (The Islamic Party) issued a statement saying that convoys would resume "over their dead bodies". They cited drone attacks by the US on Pakistani soil as a reason to refuse permission to supply ISAF.

Many other groups and parties also oppose any compromise with NATO. The debate will be difficult for the government, and if supply convoys do start to move from Pakistan again, it seems likely that more extreme elements in Pakistan are ready to use violence against them.

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