Pakistan Demands $365 Million More to Reopen War Supply Lines
May 16, 2012 - 6:57 am
We know what Pakistan is. Now we’re just haggling over the price.
The cost of the US-led war effort in Afghanistan is about to rise by $365 million annually under an agreement that would reopen a key NATO supply route through Pakistan that’s been closed for nearly six months.
The accord, which the Pakistani government announced late Tuesday, would revive the transport of vital supplies of food and equipment from Pakistani ports overland to land-locked Afghanistan.
In return, the US-led coalition will pay Pakistan a still-to-be-fixed fee of $1,500 to $1,800 for each truck carrying supplies, a tab that officials familiar with negotiations estimated would run nearly $1 million a day. The officials requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to reveal details of the agreement.
Pakistan closed those supply lines to protest two drone strikes on border security posts. Closing the lines forced the US to move supplies along routes as long as 6,000 miles. Reopening the lines could, among other things, speed up progress in Afghanistan.
The Pakistanis have never explained how it came to be that Osama bin Laden lived for years in a compound in the shadow of its national military academy. A cynic might see Pakistan’s role in the war as a means of extorting billions of dollars in aid from the United States.