Pak airlifts military vehicles to Afghanistan

Pakistan on Monday airlifted 15 military vehicles to Afghanistan as part of a deal with the US to equip Afghan troops on an urgent basis ahead of the pullout of international forces from the war-torn country by the end of this year. This marks the ‘first commercial flight to Afghanistan’ that flew from Karachi for the Bagram Air Base.

‘The transportation by air has been allowed to airlift vehicles meant for Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) as a special gesture by the government of Pakistan,’ a statement released by the Pakistan Defence Ministry said. Originally a part of Pak-US MoU signed in 2012 which deals with use of Pakistan’s Lines of Communications, to and from Afghanistan, the operation will be treated as ‘commercial’ and will continue for the next two weeks, the ministry said.

‘This arrangement has been made to facilitate rapid delivery of vital military cargo to our brotherly neighbouring state to enhance its security and stability. This effort is expected to contribute towards strengthening the existing relations with Afghanistan,’ it said.

According to a media report in 2012, Pakistan had secretly allowed US-led NATO forces to use its airspace for transporting lethal supplies to Afghanistan.

Earlier that year, Pakistan had confirmed that it allowed NATO planes carrying non-lethal supplies to use its airspace.

Late last year, the US military had suspended the shipment of equipment out of Afghanistan via the Torkham border, citing growing security concerns following a blockade organised by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, which is ruling Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The move had come after the party of former cricketer Imran Khan began forcibly searching trucks in an effort to halt NATO supplies in protest against US drone strikes in Pakistan. NATO containers running through Pakistan have been regularly targeted by militants. Earlier today, two NATO truck drivers were killed in an attack on a convoy in the restive tribal region in northwest Pakistan.
Next Story
Share it