NATO oil supplies via Pakistan resume
05 September, 2013
PESHAWAR: Overland oil shipments to NATO troops in landlocked Afghanistan resumed through Pakistan on Wednesday under tighter security after a five-month suspension due to attacks, Pakistani officials said.
Pakistani contractors had stopped driving oil supplies from the port of Karachi on the Arabian Sea to the Torkham crossing on the Afghan border due to frequent attacks on their vehicles.
"We resumed these supplies from today after hiring the services of a private firm, which will provide security to our convoys from Karachi to Torkham," contractor Azad Khan Afridi told AFP.
He said contractors had suspended supplies after the government refused to provide them with extra security.
Four oil tankers on Wednesday crossed the border into Afghanistan, a senior Pakistani official later told AFP. He said it was the first delivery since March.
Paramilitary Frontier Corps troops also escorted the tankers to the border, Afridi said.
A local administration official, Miraj Khan, and a local intelligence official also confirmed resumption of supplies.
From November 2011 to July 2012, Pakistan shut its Afghan border to all overland NATO traffic after botched US air raids killed 24 Pakistani troops.
The Salala attack resulted in a deterioration of relations between Pakistan and the United States. The Pakistani public reacted with protests all over the country and the government took measures adversely affecting the US exit strategy from Afghanistan, including the evacuation of Shamsi airfield and closure of the NATO supply line.
Pakistan and the United States have signed a deal allowing NATO convoys to travel into Afghanistan until the end of 2015.