Pakistan seeks $5,000 transit fee for each NATO container: WP

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Pakistani negotiators have proposed a fee of $5,000 for each NATO shipping container and tanker that transits its territory by land into and out of Afghanistan.
The amount is a key sticking point in discussions about the terms of a deal that would allow the traffic to resume, about six months after Pakistan closed its border crossings, Washington Post said on Thursday quoting US and Pakistani officials.
Officials said a deal was imminent, after they reached agreement in principal on reopening the transit corridors. But the details were being negotiated.
“The framework is ready, but we are now looking at rates,” a Pakistani official said.
A US official emphasized that the United States had not agreed to any figure.
According to officials from both countries, who spoke on condition of anonymity about the closed-door negotiations, Pakistan proposed the figure after calculating its total outlays for damaged infrastructure, primarily wear and tear on its roads from the heavy vehicles, as well as security costs and a new tariff. Pakistani officials said they had also taken into account their belief that NATO, by using alternative, far longer transport routes through Central Asia, is paying at least double the amount they had demanded.
Nonetheless, the notion of payment for using what are known as the Pakistani GLOCs, for Ground Lines of Communication, has been difficult for the Pentagon to swallow, because access previously was considered free. But other US officials have pointed out that the United States had given Pakistan billions over the past decade as compensation for its counterterrorism efforts. That money is expected to be discontinued as the new arrangements are put in place. Pakistan says US still owed more than $3 billion for past operations; the United States puts the figure at about $1.3 billion.The transport agreement is being considered as a matter separate from other aspects of the bilateral security relationship, including Pakistan’s rejection of US drone attacks on militants inside its borders. Discussions on that issue are continuing between senior intelligence officials.
Before the closures, more than 70 percent of NATO’s supplies in Afghanistan, largely paid for and utilized by the United States, traveled over land from the Pakistani port of Karachi. The route has become even more important to US and coalition forces as they begin the combat troop withdrawal scheduled for completion by the end of 2014.
Some analysts speculated that President Asif Ali Zardari might wait to announce in Chicago any new deal with NATO. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s unwieldy cabinet — 53 ministers in all — took up the matter but ended the day with no decision except to reinforce the parliament’s recommendation that shipments contain no weaponry or lethal supplies.

2 COMMENTS

  1. A great shift in negotiation after Badabair when an american writer wrote that Pakistanis sell themselves for pennies.

  2. BRIBED INTO A STATE OF STUPOR
    One million US dollars a day is being promoted by our Administrator as being offered by the US for access to Military supplies for Afghanistan. If the US shipped (say) 5 million containers per year; then 5,000,000 divided by 360 days equals to 13888 containers per day. At 1 million a day, that’s only US $78 per container. There is no mention of weight limits or surcharges or even if our road network can really take the loads. Our Administration has been “BRIBED INTO A STATE OF STUPOR” by the US. Even the “Absentee Landlord of Pakistan” is not that cold blooded about his holdings.

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