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Pakistan reopens supply route for Nato

nato haltISLAMABAD: Pakistan will immediately reopen a vital supply route for Nato forces in Afghanistan 10 days after it was shut following a cross-border air strike by Nato forces, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

The United States apologised to Pakistan on Wednesday for the Sept. 30 raid that killed two Pakistani soldiers, raising hopes that Pakistan would reopen the Torkham border crossing in the northwest for transporting supplies for Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Militants in Pakistan have attacked convoys of tankers since the incursion to try to disrupt supplies. In the latest such attack, gunmen in the southwest set fire to nearly 30 tankers parked at a roadside restaurant early on Saturday.

Pakistan had closed the Torkham route passing through the Khyber Pass soon after the cross-border incursion killed the soldiers. Authorites cited security reasons.

“After assessing the security situation in all its aspects, the government has decided to reopen the Nato/ISAF supply from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Torkham with immediate effect,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“Our relevant authorities are now in the process of coordinating with authorities on the other side of the border to ensure smooth resumption of the supply traffic.”

Richard Snelsire, the US embassy spokesman, said Washington welcomed the reopening of the border crossing, and called it “a positive development.”

An embassy official, speaking on background, said trucks would likely start moving into Afghanistan on Monday. – Reuters

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