Afghanistan exit strategy agreed on, Pakistan issue unresolved
May 21st, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Afghanistan exit strategy agreed on, Pakistan issue unresolved

Editor's note: Read all of Security Clearance's coverage of the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago.  Follow our reporting and other key NATO tweets with our NATO summit Twitter list.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday that he expects a deal "in the very near future" to reopen Pakistan's border with Afghanistan for war supply shipments.

"So far, the closure of the transit routes has not had a major impact on our operations," Rasmussen said, but added the transit routes were very important and that he expected their reopening "in the very near future."

Recommended: NATO accepts Obama timetable to end war

But the issue was unresolved even as NATO leaders signed off Monday on President Barack Obama's exit strategy from Afghanistan that calls for an end to combat operations next year and the withdrawal of the U.S.-led international military force by the end of 2014.

Pakistan's president Asif Ali Zardari was surely feeling some pressure.   Even a normally bland NATO document took note of thanking Central Asian countries and Russia for aiding in transporting supplies, while urging Pakistan to "reopen the ground lines of communication as soon as possible."

The White House insisted there would be no meeting between President Obama and Pakistan's president, though the two did talk briefly twice on Monday.  In what the White House described as "brief on-on-one conversation," the two talked as they entered the meeting in the morning.  Later Obama, Zardari and Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai spoke before a group photo session.

The three leaders spoke about "their shared commitment to an Afghan-led reconciliation process to bring the war to a responsible end," according to the White House.  Later, at a press conference, President Obama said he never expected the issue to be resolved at the summit but there was "diligent progress" towards getting the supply routes reopened.

Pakistan closed the ground routes after a NATO airstrike in November killed two dozen of its soldiers. NATO insists the incident was an accident. Obama offered his condolences but refused to apologize.

The United States and Pakistan have not come to an agreement on the price of opening the supply lines, according to senior administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.


Filed under: Afghanistan • Chicago NATO summit 2012 • Diplomacy • NATO • Pakistan • Rasmussen
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Uber News Network-UNN

    New, More Dangerous Hindu Extremist Groups Emerge in India

    Christians concerned as rightwing factions splinter to form militant outfits.

    PUNE, India, October 29 (CDN) — After more than a decade of severe persecution, India’s Christian minority is growing increasingly concerned over the mushrooming of newer and deadlier Hindu extremist groups.

    Gone are the days when Christians had to watch out only for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) and its youth wing, Bajrang Dal, which are closely linked with the most influential Hindu extremist umbrella organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). With voter support faltering for the RSS’s political wing, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), moderate and extremist sections within the Hindu nationalist movement are blaming each other, and militant splinter groups have emerged.

    Claiming to be breakaway factions of the RSS, new groups with even more extreme ideology are surfacing. The Abhinav Bharat (Pride of India), the Rashtriya Jagran Manch (National Revival Forum), the Sri Ram Sene (Army of god Rama), the Hindu Dharam Sena (Army for Hindu Religion) and the Sanatan Sanstha (Eternal Organization) have launched numerous violent attacks on Christian and Muslim minorities.

    The Sri Ram Sene was one of the most active groups that launched a series of attacks on Christians and their property in and around Mangalore city in the southern state of Karnataka in August-September 2008, according to a report, “The Ugly Face of Sangh Parivar,” published by the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), in March 2009. In Jabalpur city in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, suspected extremists from the Abhinav Bharat attacked the Rhema Gospel Church on Sept. 28, according to the Global Council of Indian Christians. They had earlier attacked Pastor Sam Oommen and his family in the same city on Aug. 3.

    The Hindu Dharam Sena has become especially terrifying for Christians in Jabalpur. Between 2006 and 2008, Jabalpur was plagued by at least three anti-Christian attacks every month, according to The Caravan magazine. In the western state of Gujarat and other parts of the country, the Rashtriya Jagran Manch has also violently attacked Christians, according to news website Counter Currents.

    At an ecumenical meeting held in New Delhi on Saturday (Oct. 24), the secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes, said the rise of fundamentalism was “seriously worrying” the church in India. The meeting was held to discuss prospects for immediate enactment of federal legislation to counter religious extremism with the proposed Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • Arvind Pansare

      Sanatan Sanstha in National & Spiritual organization in hole world. He never attacks on Christian and Muslim minorities. Pleas Publish clarification. Neither we prosecute. I trust on CNN news. But now this false news it is untrusted and news given by CNN. This very bat and wrong.

      May 23, 2012 at 1:49 am | Reply
  2. wavettore

    Its Word is prisoner
    Its letters are hidden still inside the ink.
    One line of thought and few metaphors are
    here to catapult Its Portrait beyond words.

    Time for Awakening

    Since 9/11 it's the War on Terror
    One "false flag" attack so called by error
    Blair, Bush, and Israel had a Pact in store
    Their next surprise is knocking at your door
    A hidden vile Idea from those who want "more"
    will use you and your Belief for the next World War
    As "chosen people" gain while Humankind loses
    Greed wins not by the swords but by the words of Moses
    Daring is to tell you when, better then to tell you rhymes
    could not side with either one to get ready for our times
    to look beyond and past today to seek for a solution
    one only hope is there for you and spells Wavevolution

    ...................

    A new type of Revolution wins with the ultimate weapon
    Your Mind

    http://www.wavevolution.org

    May 22, 2012 at 3:37 am | Reply
  3. T-Bone Thakur

    It is shame that they would leave out India from Chicgao Summit. First off, India has become redundant. Second, 1,5 million Indian army is so sacred of Talibans they are hiding in bunkers afraid to come out. So they don't want to be associated with NATO in the open. typical Indians.....everything under the table and behind the back stabbing. Cowards.

    May 21, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  4. krm1007

    Pakistan should offer 25% credit to Americans on cost of transit. Another 25% should be offered as rebates a to our American friends. Let us seal the deal and help our Natio allies fight their battles.

    May 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  5. krm1007

    This is not meek India they are messing with this Pakistan. Excellent response from Pakistan. Very matured and statesmanlike. Zardari should not have met Obama though. He is a sinking ship.

    May 21, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  6. rk

    poor paki pm..no other so called leader of a nation humiliated like this ..paki pm not refused meetings by obama and nato chief....then the paki pm tired getting clinton to pay high fees to move teh sypply routes...that failed a swell..now he is returning with empty begging bowl and rediculed on world stage,,,,

    May 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
    • jr

      The decision to break up India into independent states was approved. To coincide with NATO withdrawal. All sources of tensions would thus be squashed.

      May 21, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Reply
    • martin

      President Asif Ali Zardari and the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard met on the sidelines of the Nato Summit and exchanged views on bilateral ties, trade and economic relations between the two countries _
      Australia to provide $200m to Pak

      May 22, 2012 at 12:51 am | Reply
  7. Hahahahahaha

    Start planting the poppies!!!!!!! Hahahahahaha

    May 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Reply

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