Pakistan News/Peshawar: – Pakistan’s blockade of the vital US supply line into Afghanistan entered a third week Saturday, the longest closure of the 10-year war with no imminent sign of the border reopening.
Pakistan’s fragile alliance with the United States crashed to new lows two weeks ago on November 26 when NATO air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in what the Pakistan military called a deliberate attack.
US President Barack Obama telephoned President Asif Ali Zardari to offer his condolences, but Washington has stopped short of apologising pending the results of a military investigation into what happened, due December 23.
Although Pakistani and US officials dispute the precise sequence of events, Pakistan closed its two crossings to US and NATO supplies and gave American personnel until Sunday to leave an air base reportedly used by CIA drones.
Officials in the northwest, where the main Torkham crossing into Afghanistan is situated, told AFP there were no plans to reopen.
“There is strong public resentment. People are angry about this incident and we cannot take a decision in haste,” one senior security official told AFP.
“Pakistan will reopen the border when public anger cools down and the route is protected,” he added.
The 140,000 foreign troops in landlocked Afghanistan rely on fuel, food and equipment brought in from outside — nearly half of which routes through Pakistan, the quickest and the cheapest supply line.