US says re-opening of vital supply routes will be in Pakistan’s interest

 

WASHINGTON, May 10 : The United States has said it continues to work with Pakistan on the issue of re-opening two key land routes that transport supplies for American and NATO troops deployed in landlockedAfghanistan.

 

“ I don’t have any update except to say that we are continuing to work on these issues with the Government of Pakistan,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.

 

The supply routes were closed by Islamabad in the aftermath of November 26, 2001 NATO war plane attacks on Pakistani Salala post along the Afghan border, which resulted in deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers.  Meanwhile, the U.S. and NATO rely on the costly and long northern route through Central Asian states for transporting supplies into Afghanistan.

 

The efforts to end the stalemate follow the visit of Washington’s special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman to Islamabad, during which the two sides tried to work through several lingering issues that have hurt the bilateral ties.

 

At the daily briefing, the spokesperson advocated in answer to a question that resumption of supplies through Pakistani ground lines of communication (GLOCs) will be in the interest of Pakistan.

 

“ We’re still seeking to come to an arrangement on how we can get the GLOCs open.  We think it’s important for us; it’s important for a peaceful, stable situation in Afghanistan; and it’s obviously – that would be in Pakistan’s interest as well.”

 

Washington and Islamabad are seeking revival of wide-ranging cooperation in the wake of Pakistani Parliament’s guidelines which call for an American apology over November 26, 2011 cross-border strikes and an immediate end to controversial drone attacks that the U.S. carries out to target suspected militants in tribal areas.

 

In a reflection on the complex nature of ties between the two countries, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee has moved a legislation on the  fiscal year 2013 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that “prohibits economic and security assistance unless the Government of Pakistan is cooperating with the United States on counterterrorism efforts and other issues.”

 Sources: MGCT, Department of State

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