Pakistani Leaders Spurn US Calls to Reopen Border Soon

To Let Parliament Decide on NATO Supplies

A high profile meeting of civilian and military leaders in Pakistan has ended with them spurning the latest round of US calls to reopen the border with Afghanistan to NATO war supplies and the transportation of occupation troops.

Instead, the leadership council decided to leave the decision on reopening the border up to parliament, a de facto decision to keep the border closed since parliament is unlikely to restore support to the unpopular war so close to the next election season.

The announcement comes just over a week after CENTCOM’s Gen. James Mattis predicted that the Pakistani government would soon relent on the border closing, which has been ongoing since late November.

The closure was initially a response to the US attack on Pakistani military bases along the border, and at the time Prime Minister Gilani predicted it would last “several weeks.” Worsening tensions between the US and Pakistan, as well as massive anti-US protests in major cities, have made it politically impossible for Pakistan’s ruling party, already under fire as too pro-US, to back off their only real retaliation for the attacks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.