Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Nato blockade enters 12th day, US reroutes supplies

KARACHI: The supplies for Nato and US troops in Afghanistan remained suspended at Pak-Afghan border for the 12th day on Wednesday, Geo News reported.

The supply line was suspended after the Nato troops raided a check post inside Pakistan, killing 24 soldiers.

On the other hand, the US military is working around a Pakistani government border blockade by shipping small amounts of some supplies for the Afghan war through alternate countries, The Associated Press quoted US defense officials as saying.

The supplies for US troops in Afghanistan are items that would have been sent through Pakistan if the border hadn't been closed in protest, according to two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

One official said selected items in very small amounts have been shifted to "other means of delivery" in the last few days. The official declined to be more specific. Other officials said there is no immediate need to alter the flow of war supplies substantially because there is no near-term prospect of shortages.

The rerouted supplies, like all that go through Pakistan, are non-lethal items.

A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. John Kirby, said the border closing has had "no appreciable impact" on military operations in Afghanistan and that senior American commanders believe they are well supplied for now.

About 30 percent of the non-lethal supplies for US and coalition troops in Afghanistan normally come via two routes from Pakistan - the Torkham border crossing in the northwest Khyber tribal area and at the Chaman gateway in the southwestern Baluchistan province, near the city of Quetta. Much of what is supplied is fuel.

About 40 percent of non-lethal supplies travel on a northern route that enters Afghanistan by rail through Uzbekistan, and about 30 percent are shipped by air.

Long queues of trucks and containers, loaded with fuel and consumable items on their way to Kabul and Qandhar, were seen at Pak-Afghan border crossings in Chaman and Tor-Kham, as forces did not allow them to enter into Afghanistan.
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