NATO supply resumes from Pakistan`s border

The supply of oil and other logistics for NATO troops in Afghanistan resumed from Torkham border in Pakistan`s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province after a 10-day break.

Last Updated: Oct 10, 2010, 20:22 PM IST

Islamabad: The supply of oil and other logistics for NATO troops in Afghanistan resumed Sunday from Torkham border in Pakistan`s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province after a 10-day break.

Hundreds of trucks carrying supplies for the coalition forces, which were lined up at the Torkham border, were allowed to cross after the border officials received the order from the authorities in the afternoon.

Initially, five oil tankers and three containers filled with other necessities moved from Pakistan to Afghanistan. The Pakistani government had said Saturday evening it will resume the supplies.

The supply was halted by Islamabad Sep 30 following an air attack at a checkpost of paramilitary forces in Kurram agency area that left Pakistani armed forces personnel dead.

The attack caused severe outrage in Pakistan and the matter was taken up by the government with NATO high command.

NATO secretary-general Andre Rasmussen visited Pakistan last week and called on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to find ways for resolving the crisis.

The foreign office maintained throughout the 10-day impasse that supply could not be resumed unless and until the anger among the masses was taken care of.

Finally, the US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W. Patterson, issued a public apology Wednesday promising to "avoid such incidents in future".

After hectic consultations between the government and the military high command, the apology was accepted and it was decided to lift restrictions on the NATO supply route.

"We have decided to open the borders for NATO supplies and hope that no security breach will take place in future," said foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit.

"Pakistan has taken a strong step this time to record their protest," said defence analyst Brig (retd) Mahmood Shah.

"We are a frontline ally in the war against terror and such attacks in our territory are against the sovereignty of the country," he said.

NATO forces are fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001 and use land route from Pakistan`s northwestern and southwestern provinces to carry logistics. Dozens of NATO oil tankers have been attacked and set ablaze by Taliban in Pakistan.

IANS