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 Christian Science Monitor reported.
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.
In return, the US is asking Pakistan to provide security for the supplies, which are trucked through the country by private local transport companies, and much speedier clearance of customs and checkpoints.
The NATO traffic in and out of Afghanistan through Pakistan is anticipated to be as many as 600 trucks a day between now and the end of next year.
In a major climb-down, Pakistan dropped its demand that Washington apologize for the deaths due to the November raids. There was also no agreement to end controversial strikes by American drone aircraft against suspected militants in Pakistan’s tribal area, as demanded by a cross-party resolution of Pakistan’s Parliament.