Pakistan to speed up NATO supply transit
10 July, 2012
TORKHAM: Pakistan is doubling the capacity for NATO trucks at a key border crossing, officials said on Monday, to speed up processing for an expected influx of supplies for troops in Afghanistan.
Customs officials at Torkham border crossing in the country's northwest told AFP that work had begun to expand dedicated parking space for NATO containers.
"After expansion the parking capacity for NATO trucks will be doubled," Obaidullah Khan, a Customs official at Torkham, the closest border crossing to Kabul, told AFP. "Prior to the closure the terminal had a parking capacity of 250 vehicles and now we are expanding it to 500."
Khan said work was also underway on two dedicated rooms for Customs officers dealing with paperwork for NATO vehicles, to speed up their transit into Afghanistan.
The terminal remained quiet on Monday as no NATO supply trucks were able to reach Torkham from Karachi, where they have languished for the past seven months.
A bulldozer had begun work at the site, uprooting trees while workers spread barbed wire around the back of the terminal, an AFP reporter saw.
Security at the crossing is being boosted, Khan said, to foil Taliban who have vowed to attack NATO trucks and kill their crews.
Four checkpoints are being set up around the Torkham terminal and the number of security personnel will be raised from the previous level of 550. "No NATO supply vehicle will be allowed to pass a night at Torkham, even if we need to work for extra time," Khan said.