(ISLAMABAD) — There may have finally been a breakthrough in the long stalemate between Islamabad and the U.S. over NATO supply routes in Pakistan that have been shut down since last November.
Islamabad closed the key supply routes used to bring artillery to coalition forces in Afghanistan after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in NATO air raids that the U.S. maintains were the result of miscommunication on both sides. Pakistan contends that NATO was completely at fault, demanding an apology from the White House.
However, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told reporters on Monday that her country is now moving toward reopening the supply routes, explaining, “Pakistan has made a point and now we can move on.”
While Khar presented no timetable for when that might happen, it was apparent that talks Gen. John Allen, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, held with Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani last weekend produced positive results.
Not only would reopening Pakistan’s borders into Afghanistan lower costs of shipping food and equipment, access to the supply routes means the U.S. and NATO can facilitate the withdrawal of goods worth an estimated $30 billion ahead of the scheduled military pullout from Afghanistan in 2014.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN