After diplomatic pressure from Washington, the Pakistani government has agreed to reopen NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, so long as the U.S. pays $1,800 for each truck carrying supplies.
The deal struck with Pakistan will cost the U.S. an extra $365 million annually (that is, $1 million every day). But the deal is still better for the Obama administration: supplying troops in Afghanistan for the past six months has cost six times as much money as when as before the supply routes were closed. Pentagon figures showed it took about $104 million per month to send the war supplies through a longer northern route.
Islamabad decided to deny the U.S. access to the supply routes in November after American warplanes accidentally hit a Pakistani military outpost, killing 24 soldiers. Many didn’t believe a deal would be struck, especially after the Pakistani Parliament’s April resolution demanding “an immediate cessation of drone attacks” and declaring Pakistani territory may not be used “for transportation of arms and ammunition to Afghanistan.”
The U.S. wasn’t able to continue to use supply routes, but the drone attacks continued despite the Parliament’s demands.
Also part of the deal is that Pakistan has dropped its demand for the Obama administration to issue a formal apology for killing the 24 soldiers “by mistake,” and that the U.S. has offered Pakistan a formal invitation to a NATO conference in Chicago beginning this weekend.
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