Despite US Apology, Pakistan Border Remains Closed

Foreign Ministry Mum on When Khyber Pass Will Reopen

Yesterday’s public apology by US Ambassador Anne Patterson over last week’s NATO attack on Pakistani soldiers may have been, as many believe, a cynical attempt to get Pakistan to reopen the Khyber Pass to NATO traffic, but it has not as of yet borne fruit.

The border remained closed to NATO convoys again today, though throughout its weeklong closure officials have allowed commercial traffic through. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry would not predict when the reopening to NATO traffic would come, saying only that the situation is being “evaluated.”

Three Pakistani soldiers were killed last week’s helicopter attack and three others were wounded. The Pentagon had as recently as Tuesday shrugged the attack off as “self defense” and insisted that no policy changes would be made with respect to the border.

But outrage in Pakistan over the attacks had not just led to the border’s closure, but to the destruction of over 100 fuel tankers by militant groups. Largely the groups were targeting tankers stranded on the route to Khyber, but yesterday they also attacked tankers en route to the much smaller Balochistan crossing, which remains open. Roughly 80 percent of all NATO war supplies pass through Pakistan.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.