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Pentagon official arrives today


ISLAMABAD, June 7: Peter Lavoy, a Pentagon official, is due here on Friday in a renewed attempt to break the logjam in negotiations on fresh terms of engagement with Pakistan, particularly the deadlock over reopening of Nato supply routes.

Assistant Defence Secretary Lavoy, according to a diplomat, during his two-day stay in Pakistan will meet senior civilian and military functionaries.

Mr Lavoy, the diplomat noted, would discuss the broader issues in the relationship and not the transit routes – called Ground Lines of Communications in official parlance.

Nato had on Monday inked a deal with three Central Asian countries for exiting equipment and vehicles through the northern route. But, US officials insisted, the deal must not be seen as giving up on negotiations with Pakistan on a fresh transit agreement.

While there have been a number of technical issues involved in the discussions on the route, it is said differences over fee have been the biggest hurdle. Pakistan’s demand is $5000 per truck while Nato is offering $500. Before suspension in the aftermath of the Nov 26 Salala attack, the alliance used to pay $250 per truck.

Mr Lavoy had earlier accompanied Washington’s special envoy Marc Grossman to Islamabad and stayed back for a couple of days, holding discussions with representatives of the military establishment.