Pakistan and the United States signed a deal regulating the shipment of American troop supplies to and from Afghanistan on Tuesday, prompting Washington to agree to release over $1 billion in frozen military aid.
The route through Pakistan will be vital to the scheduled withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2014, one of the reasons the U.S. finally agreed to Islamabad’s demand that it apologize for the deaths of the Pakistani soldiers. The U.S. had to compensate for the temporary closure by using a longer route into Afghanistan through Central Asia that cost an additional $100 million per month.
The new agreement applies to U.S. supplies that have not yet arrived in Pakistan, not the thousands of containers that have been stuck in the country for months and have slowly started moving across the border into Afghanistan. It also spells out the terms for the tens of thousands of containers that will be needed to pull U.S. equipment and supplies out of Afghanistan.
The new deal prohibits the U.S. from shipping weapons by land through Pakistan — as demanded by the country’s parliament — unless intended for Afghan national security forces, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Associated Press.
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