The first supplies to exit Pakistan for Afghanistan in months crossed the border today, coming in the form of four trucks full of “office supplies” for the occupation forces. Despite the crossing, a formal deal to reopen the border has not been signed.
And officials are increasingly skeptical that such a deal will be reached in a timely fashion, conceding that efforts to get the deal in place in time for President Zardari’s Chicago summit visit might not be realized. US officials are complaining about the money Pakistan wants to charge, and are still reluctant to apologize for killing 24 Pakistani soldiers in a November attack.
The sudden resolution of the border closure, the lack of a final deal notwithstanding, seems to have been almost exclusively centered around Zardari’s desire to be invited to the summit. NATO had previously insisted he was not welcome so long as the border was closed.
The move is not sitting well with Pakistan’s opposition, which is condemning the decision to reopen the border, despite the government failing to get anything that it wanted except for a single summit invite, as an embarrassing failure.
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