Trucks transporting Nato supplies. — File Photo
Trucks transporting Nato supplies. — File Photo

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan on Tuesday signed a deal with the United States governing arrangements for Nato convoys travelling to Afghanistan, seeking to draw a line under a seven-month border blockade.

Islamabad agreed to reopen land routes for Nato goods on July 3 after ordering the longest border closure of the 10-year war in neighbouring Afghanistan in protest at botched US air raids that killed 24 Pakistani troops.

The agreement is part of efforts by the “war on terror” allies to patch up their fractious relationship, which plunged into crisis last year over the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden hiding in Pakistan and the air strikes.

It comes just one day before the head of Pakistani intelligence, Lieutenant General Zaheer ul-Islam, begins a three-day visit to Washington for talks with the head of the CIA, which has been interpreted as another sign of a gradual rapprochement.

Under the agreement inked in Rawalpindi, the home of Pakistan's powerful military, the United States will release $1.1 billion under the Coalition Support Fund to reimburse the troubled nation for fighting militants within its borders.

Officials at the ceremony gave no details of the Memorandum of Understanding or MoU, nor did they release a copy at a news conference.

Guidelines laid out by the Pakistani parliament earlier this year insisted that in future no weapons and ammunition be transported through the country, though Western officials say this never happened in the first place.

A Pakistani security official said the agreement gave Islamabad the right to refuse or reject any shipment and special radio chips would be fitted to containers for monitoring.

Richard Hoagland, the deputy US ambassador to Islamabad who signed the agreement on behalf of Washington, hailed it as a “demonstration of increased transparency and openness” between the two governments.

The Pakistan government relented in its blockade after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said sorry for the air raid deaths, but few supply trucks have made it across the border in the weeks since then.

Officials closed the Torkham border crossing, the quickest route to Kabul from the port city of Karachi, to Nato traffic on Thursday over security fears.

The Pakistani Taliban have vowed to attack Nato supplies and last Tuesday, one of the truck drivers was shot dead in the northwestern town of Jamrud.

Pakistani Defence Secretary Asif Yasin Malik, who attended the ceremony, said the deal would contribute to the stability of the region and hailed it as a “landmark event”.

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Comments (20)

July 31, 2012 1:11 pm
well said!!
M. Asghar
July 31, 2012 12:04 pm
Pakistan's openness and transparency has to be measured only through the elements of its self-interests in the region along with its neighbours.
July 31, 2012 2:26 pm
your right mr rizwan , pakistan can not survive for a day without US aid, your leaders are doing this in the best interest of the nation. keep on befooling US
HM, Canada
July 31, 2012 2:58 pm
Mind your words. Whole nation is not corrupt and unfair. Its the politicians and rulers.
Nasser Ali-Khan
July 31, 2012 12:30 pm
A corrupt and hence unfair nation shall always be weak for as long as it is corrupt and unfair - this is only fair!
July 31, 2012 11:43 am
Pakistan got nothing to gain from it. USA does not respect lives of innocent being killed in Pakistan through drones attacks and we give safe passage to their trucks of death. It is sad to see how weak we have become as a nation anybody can buy us for few dollars. I do believe USA is targeting in most case trouble makers but in the process many innocent people are dying in Pakistan. Even one innocent death in not worth any amount of money or signing any deal with USA this is a humanitarian clause but I guess USA make and break laws a they feel fit their needs. Shame on our leaders for continue to be played by USA for their selfish interest.
July 31, 2012 11:19 am
charter of slavery ? honour killing for dollars ..
ahmed rizwan
July 31, 2012 11:59 am
As it was expected, but to be honest i don't think that Pakistani government is having any other option left but to open nato supply. Being realistic, Pakistan is not in a position to confront USA and other NAto member countries. We are totally depended upon them,as our economy runs on their aid, over major exports are to western countries and likewise their are other thousand reasons. This slavery is not because Nato and America are more powerful countries, but our leaders are not patriotic to their country. they are not working to make country strong enough so that we could confront their dictation.Elections are near, the only chance for the people to make the right decision and make themselves respectable enough so that other countries listen our point of view over matters.
Saad (DXB)
July 31, 2012 11:06 am
Richard Hoagland, the deputy US ambassador to Islamabad who signed the agreement on behalf of Washington, hailed it as a “demonstration of increased transparency and openness” between the two governments. Yeah sure.. Openness and Transparency is only expected from Pakistan side. What about American Drone Program targeting Pakistan? What about the like of Raymond Davis?
July 31, 2012 4:34 pm
OK, then why not release the whole text of the MOU in the common interest of openness and transparency between the two countries and showing truthfulness to their people about hwo they both benefitted equally from the deal?
July 31, 2012 4:35 pm
Well said.
July 31, 2012 8:21 pm
Unfortunately, Beggars Can't be Choosers. We need to up-rise as a nation.
Khalid Syed
July 31, 2012 9:48 pm
Technically the agreement should have been signed between Pakistan and Nato and not with USA or it should have been with both.What USA is required to do under the agreement, will the other Nato countries also do it;perhaps not under the agreement
naseem butt
July 31, 2012 10:22 pm
The deal is not published because it must be against the interests of Pakistan. Ev.ery day a news comes it is even more disturbing news than the previous one . We must get rid of these unpatriotic so called leaders and they should be accounted for their misdeeds. Unfortunately all these comments are of only a little value because our perhaps more than 80%population has no approach to this media.I wish there would be certain TV channels who should broadcast these comments to the villagers for theireawareness
syed rizvi
July 31, 2012 10:31 pm
why Dawn correspondent had to write that the aggrement was inked in rawalpindi the home to powefull pakistan military its seem dawn is basically have anti state personality disorder
July 31, 2012 11:47 pm
But there are lack of innocents in Pakistan
July 31, 2012 11:48 pm
They are good for your health
August 1, 2012 12:03 am
Sounds a lot like the old deal.
August 1, 2012 2:45 am
shameful agreement where one side is torturing and beating other(strong one is beating the poor). this is a shame of a nation.
August 2, 2012 12:21 pm
Oh, Is it ? Who about the religious parties that are NOT in power, lawyers who showered petals on murderers, Religious leaders who intimidate minorities ? Are all these not Pakistanis or come under politicians and rulers ?
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