Pakistan stops NATO supplies
* Khyber Agency PA says Torkham Highway closed due to Taliban threats to trucks
* Says decision not a reaction to US attacks
By Iqbal Khattak
PESHAWAR: Pakistan stopped supplies to the United States and NATO forces in Afghanistan through its western Torkham border on Friday, citing security concerns.
A senior official said the measure followed increasing Taliban threats to trucks carrying the supplies.
“All Afghanistan-bound supplies for the International Security Assistance Force have been stopped as the [Torkham] highway is vulnerable,” Khyber Agency Political Agent Tariq Hayat told Daily Times, dismissing the impression that the decision is a reaction to continued United States attacks in Waziristan.
“This decision has nothing to do with the situation in Waziristan or the US attacks. This is purely a security issue and we want no untoward incident to take place as far as supplies for ISAF are concerned.” The international Torkham Highway was closed for “vulnerable vehicles”, he said referring to trucks carrying ISAF supplies, and the supplies would resume after the highway was cleared.
The political agent did not say how long the highway would take to be cleared, but added that other traffic would be allowed on the road.
A senior border official at Torkham, 58 kilometres west of Peshawar, said the closure of the highway would also affect the US forces, which get fuel, food and other military supplies through Torkham crossing points.
The coalition forces also get supplies through the Chaman border in Balochistan, but the bulk of the supplies goes through Torkham – a shorter route for Kabul where the US and NATO forces are based.