Pakistan cuts supply lines to Nato forces

By Nasrullah Afridi

BARA: In a major development, the federal government on Friday announced disconnection of supply lines to the allied forces stationed in Afghanistan through Pakistan in an apparent reaction to a ground attack on a border village in South Waziristan agency by the Nato forces.

Political authorities of the Khyber Agency claimed to have received verbal directives to immediately halt transportation of all kinds of goods meant for the US-led Nato forces in Afghanistan for an indefinite period.

Authorities claimed the decision was taken in the wake of the growing unrest in the Khyber Agency that provides for the only ground link of the country to the war-torn Afghanistan. “Until now, drivers of the vehicles carrying goods meant for the foreign forces in Afghanistan were directed to reach the tribal agency between 7am to 10am, which were then escorted to the border town of Torkhum by the Khassadar force,” the authorities told The News.

The authorities claimed that due to repeated attacks on the personnel of the Khassadar forces during the last one week and abduction of a few personnel, it had become difficult for the security forces to provide foolproof security to the supply lines.

Independent sources, however, claimed that the government feared retaliation by the tribesmen against a recent ground attack conducted by the Nato forces in Angoor Adda of the South Waziristan Agency that triggered condemnation from various quarters, including the government of Pakistan itself.

NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani had likened the attack to an aggression against a sovereign state, saying the people of the country expected the Pakistan Army to give a befitting reply to the attack. He said that some twenty innocent people lost their lives — most of them were women and children.

The US government had accepted responsibility for the attack but did not offer any apology for the same and instead announced to launch more such attacks against the militants across the border, if so required in future.

Source: The News, 6/9/2008

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