Re­vis­ing De­mands

Southasia - - Briefing -

U.S – Pak­istan re­la­tions saw a ma­jor de­te­ri­o­ra­tion fol­low­ing the ‘ac­ci­den­tal’ NATO killing of 24 Pak­istani troops at the Salala check­post that prompted Pak­istan to block NATO sup­ply routes through the coun­try. Pres­i­dent Zar­dari, a last minute guest at the re­cent NATO Sum­mit in Chicago, was snubbed by Pres­i­dent Obama thus re­ceiv­ing a strong hint of U.S pub­lic sen­ti­ment and of­fi­cial stance. Pres­i­dent Zar­dari’s 11thhour in­vite and the lack of an of­fi­cial meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Obama, un­der­lined the in­her­ent mis­trust and tense re­la­tion­ship the two coun­tries cur­rently suf­fer. In a sup­posed show of good­will, Pres­i­dent Zar­dari de­manded that NATO forces of­fer Pak­istan $5000 per truck in re­turn for re­newed ac­cess to the route. The de­mand was hugely un­pop­u­lar and drew a slew of crit­i­cisms from the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. Pak­istan orig­i­nally charged $250 per truck and such a steep rise is deemed ab­surd and un­ac­cept­able. U.S and Pak­istan are now work­ing to­wards a com­pro­mise to re­open the routes, which are crit­i­cal to a swift, re­spon­si­ble and sta­ble U.S with­drawal from Afghanistan. Pak­istan has also agreed to re­vise its de­mand and an­a­lysts pre­dict that it will present a more re­al­is­tic fig­ure of $300-$500 per truck.

Am­bas­sador Sherry Rehman has also met U.S of­fi­cials and am­bas­sadors in an ef­fort to en­hance en­gage­ment and fur­ther di­a­logue on the spe­cific is­sue of re­open­ing NATO sup­ply routes.

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