Pakistan reopens border crossing for NATO supply traffic
Pakistan on Sunday reopened a key border crossing for supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan after a week-long halt at Torkham, a government official said, dpa reported.
"Yes, the NATO supplies have been restored," said Khan Pasand, an official at the crossing. "Four oil tankers and three container trucks just entered Afghanistan."
The border post was closed on September 30, hours after a US helicopter attack killed two Pakistani troops and injured four more during a raid near Afghan frontier.
The incident worsened already tense relations between Islamabad and Washington over US airstrikes in Pakistani territory. After days of hectic interactions at diplomatic and defence level, the US offered a public apology.
Pakistan announced on Saturday afternoon that it would allow the NATO supply traffic to continue through Torkham.
"After assessing the security situation in all its aspects, the government has decided to reopen the NATO/ISAF supply, with immediate effect," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said.
The lorries and tankers had to wait for the daylight of Sunday to resume travel through the dangerous mountainous border areas
"A large numbers of trucks are queued on the border crossing but it takes time in verification of the relevant documents and that's why the process will be slow," Pasand said.
The border closing left hundreds of oil tankers and trucks hauling containers stranded across Pakistan, exposing them to the attacks by insurgents.
More than 150 supply vehicles were torched in five attacks, and six people were killed.
According to official figures, 80 per cent of NATO supplies are transported to Afghanistan via Pakistan. Two-thirds of these cross the border at Torkham, the rest at Chaman in the south-western province of Balochistan.
The Chaman border crossing remained open during the blockade at Torkham.