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Pakistan to restore NATO's Afghan oil supply line after 12-month hiatus



While the US has been distracted by the presidential election, the Syrian conflict, and jihadist outbursts in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, the Gaza strip and elsewhere, Pakistan has been moving at a glacial pace to restore NATO's critical oil supply line to Afghanistan.

The logistical supply lines, but not the oil supply lines, were opened in July after an apology two months earlier by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a US attack on a Pakistani military outpost in Mohmand on the night of Nov. 25-26, 2011 that left 25 Pakistani soldiers dead. US forces in Afghanistan attacked the Salala outpost just across the border after receiving fire from the outpost and sending up signal flares that were ignored.

After a 12-month blockade, the flow of oil through NATO's Pakistani supply lines is due to resume by the end of this month, according to the Express Tribune. The first two test-run tankers made it through the Torkham crossing in Khyber last week. "Officials cited multiple reasons [for the stoppage] including security issues faced by drivers and oil tankers on the route through Pakistan," the Express Tribune report stated.

As we noted back in July, the deal with Pakistan for the reopening of the supply lines involved sweeteners beyond Clinton's apology, including but not limited to: the release of $1.1 billion in withheld funds for Pakistan's counterterrorism efforts; reimbursements to Pakistani truckdrivers to the tune of $6,000 per truck stranded by the closure of the supply lines; and authorizing Pakistan to inspect every NATO vehicle passing through its territory.

And as we also observed, the deal also included the stipulation that the supply lines through Pakistan would not be available after the 2014 deadline set for the withdrawal of Coalition forces from Afghanistan. Pakistan seeks to hold the US to its 2014 withdrawal date and to limit, by means including control over supply routes, US influence in Afghanistan.

Our conclusion then still applies: "The bottom line is that Pakistan has manipulated the supply route issue -- which even the Taliban have called a "drama" orchestrated by the Pakistani government -- to continue to siphon billions of US dollars while at the same time maintaining Pakistan's jihadist proxies in Afghanistan and elsewhere."



READER COMMENTS: "Pakistan to restore NATO's Afghan oil supply line after 12-month hiatus"

Posted by Tony at November 15, 2012 5:44 PM ET:

Well if Pakistan so bad, why doesn't the U.S.take its giddiness else where? Put up or shutup.

Posted by Paul D at November 16, 2012 12:42 PM ET:

Tony is obviously a Pakistani.

Are you proud of the lack of religious tolerance in your country?

Posted by Neo at November 16, 2012 6:23 PM ET:

Pakistan seems to have something to offer everyone (at a price) and nothing to offer anyone. It’s surprising what you can get, and distressing what little it gets you. I can’t honestly find another example of a government that has managed to support all sides to a conflict and yet manage to screw everyone in the process, including themselves. Especially themselves. The continued existence of the Pakistani state is a tribute to ineptly muddling through. I look at it with as much amazement as distain. It’s amazing the place hasn’t reduced itself to one big charred hole in the ground. In Pakistan, the **** hits the fan so often, people just think its monsoon season coming early.

Posted by Brendan at November 17, 2012 1:51 AM ET:

Tony,

The only other country in the region with accessible ports for maritime shipping of supplies is Iran. I'm sure they would be happy to host the US military. (Yeah, right!)

The Central Asian nations to the north of Afghanistan require supplies to be airlifted; as these nations are landlocked. Airlifting war supplies is much more inefficient and expensive than moving via maritime routes.

I'm sure the US would love to "take its giddiness elsewhere" as they proved was possible when Pakistan completely shut down the supply lines last year. (Which, by the way; Pakistan shut down the supply lines over an incident that THEY started, but we sure as heck finished.)

Pakistan is the most logistically and Geo-political feasible way to move supplies in and out of Afghanistan, even if it means dealing with their usual buffoonery and childish antics.

Posted by Paul D at November 18, 2012 8:41 AM ET:

Pakistan is like Gaza and Egypt.They survive in handouts from the International community end of.