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Admin ready to receive Nato vehicles at Torkham

July 07, 2012

LANDI KOTAL, July 6: No vehicle carrying goods for Nato forces in Afghanistan reached the border town of Torkham on Friday.

“We are all set to resume clearance of Nato supply as we have finally received official instructions from Islamabad today,” a customs official at Torkham told Dawn.

Assistant political agent Khalid Kundi said the local administration was making a foolproof security plan for Nato containers and oil tankers.

He said the local administration was in constant contact with security officials to ensure security of all vehicles once they entered Khyber Agency from Peshawar.

“Arrangements have been made. We’ll be chalk out the security plan in the next two or three days,” he said, adding that it was their immediate concern.

Also in day, the khasadar force removed all roadside encroachments along Torkham border to ensure smooth flow of heavy traffic to the border.

Officials said heavy vehicles would be diverted to a service road along the main road to avoid congestion at the border crossing.

Meanwhile, transporters and contractors in Khyber Agency said at many as 135 containers loaded with multiple Nato goods were awaiting clearance at Karachi Port.

“Not a single container or oil tanker has so far left Karachi as we have not been given the go-ahead by the relevant official quarters,” said president of Khyber Transporters Union Shakir Afridi.

He said apart from security, transportation charges were also one of their main issues which needed early resolution.

“We will not hesitate to boycott Nato supply if our freight rate from Karachi to Kabul is not enhanced in accordance to our demand,” he said.

Mr Afridi said oil contractors would give oil tanker owners Rs12 per litre of fuel from Karachi to Kabul, while container drivers were given Rs180,000 to Rs200,000 for every 20 tons of merchandise with an increase of Rs15,000 to Rs20,000 additional five tons.

He said contractors demanded Rs300,000 for a 20 ton container, while Rs20 was for every liter of fuel.

“We will seriously consider a countrywide strike and a complete halt to Nato supply if our demands are not met,” he said.