Pakistan: Blockade Only Temporary

Foreign minister blames blockade on public outrage
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2010 11:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – Pakistan doesn't intend to keep up its Afghanistan blockade forever. In an interview with the AP today, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said that the route was closed thanks to public outrage over NATO strikes in the border region, and would reopen once things normalized. "The supply has been suspended because of security reasons and it will be resumed as soon as these reasons are addressed," he said, without elaborating on when that might be.

Pakistani ambassador Husain Haqqani, meanwhile, guessed that things would be back to normal within a week. "I do not expect this blockade to continue for too long," he told CNN (See video) He said the blockade was enacted "not as a political retaliation, but actually only to make the convoys more secure." Pakistan has closed off the Torkham border crossing along the fabled Khyber Pass, through which roughly 80% of NATO's non-lethal supplies—including fuel, military vehicles, and clothing—are delivered. Another route in the southeast remains open.

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