Pakistan reopens ISAF supply lines
04 July 2012
Pakistan has agreed to reopen supply lines serving International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan after the US reissued an apology for the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers at Salala last November.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the end of the seven month dispute following a phone call with Pakistan's foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar on 3 July.
Pakistan had kept the route close for some seven months following the attack by US troops and helicopters on two border posts at Salala, on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan
The country had reportedly demanded a public apology and a fee of $5,000 per vehicle travelling on the overland supply route, but Clinton said that no charge would now be levied. Prior to the closure of the route, the price was reportedly $250 per vehicle.
"Foreign Minister Khar and I acknowledged the mistakes that resulted in the loss of Pakistani military lives. We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military," said Clinton.
"We are committed to working closely with Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent this from ever happening again.
"As I told the former Prime Minister of Pakistan days after the Salala incident, America respects Pakistan's sovereignty and is committed to working together in pursuit of shared objectives on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect.
"…I am pleased that Foreign Minister Khar has informed me that the ground supply lines into Afghanistan are opening. Pakistan will continue not to charge any transit fee in the larger interest of peace and security in Afghanistan and the region.
"This is a tangible demonstration of Pakistan's support for a secure, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan and our shared objectives in the region. This will also help the United States and ISAF conduct the planned drawdown at a much lower cost. This is critically important to the men and women who are fighting terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan.
"Foreign Minister Khar has informed me that, consistent with current practice, no lethal equipment will transit the GLOC into Afghanistan except for equipping the ANSF."