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.