U.S. bristles at stiff Pakistani fees for supply routes
A Pakistani driver walks past fuel tankers, used to transport fuel to NATO forces in Afghanistan, parked near oil terminals in Pakistan's port city of Karachi on May 17, 2012
May 19th, 2012
02:11 PM ET

U.S. bristles at stiff Pakistani fees for supply routes

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By Mike Mount and Elise Labott reporting from Chicago

The United States will not agree to pay the stiff fees Pakistan is asking in order to open up NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, U.S. officials told CNN Saturday.

Ahead of a NATO summit on Afghanistan's future, Pakistan is requesting $5,000 per truck as a condition to reopen the supply lines between the two South Asian countries, U.S. officials said.

Recommended: A user's guide to the Chicago NATO summit

The new cost is a sticking point in week-long negotiations between Washington and Islamabad to open the roads, known as the ground lines of communication or GLOCs. U.S. officials say the fees are inflated.

"We're hopeful the GLOCs will be reopened soon, but we're not going to agree to unreasonable charges. The Pakistanis understand that," said a senior defense official who is not authorized to speak publicly about the talks.

Previously, the United States had been paying just a "small fraction" of the requested fee, officials said.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the United States would refrain from such a deal due to budgetary restraints.

"Considering the financial challenges that we're facing, that's not likely," Panetta told the Tribune newspaper service earlier in the week.

Pakistan shut down the supply routes - stretching from Afghanistan through the lawless western tribal regions of Pakistan and down to the southern port of Karachi - last November after dozens of its troops were killed in a mistaken U.S. airstrike.

The routes offer a shorter and more direct route than the one NATO has been using since November that goes through Russia and other nations and avoids Pakistan altogether.

Pakistani Ambassador Sherry Rehman said Washington was paying more for the northern route.

"Perhaps, if you look at the end route where your trucks move through much longer, but I believe the double of that amount is paid," Rehman said.

But U.S. officials said the nations along the northern route do not receive "Coalition Support Funds," which should allow Pakistan to lower costs.

The supply route will take on more significance as NATO troops prepare to depart Afghanistan by 2014 and will have to move heavy equipment and supplies out of Afghanistan for shipment from Karachi.

The drawdown forms a big part of the agenda at the NATO summit in Chicago starting Sunday, which Pakistani President Asif Ali Zadari is attending.

Pakistan did allow four trucks containing supplies destined for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul to cross its border Friday, the first in six months.
Rehman called it a first step.

"So this is a new beginning. And, obviously, I bring good tidings," Rehman said.

But U.S. officials were less optimistic. Besides the cost, said one official familiar with the talks, there remained "quite a few other issues" to be worked out. He did not specify what those were.

soundoff (67 Responses)
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  3. El Duderino (if you're not nto the whole brevity thing)

    These phucking p r icks need to die. I say first, we give them no aid whatsoever, then we create our own terrorist haven that intends to wipe out Pakistan. I'm sick of these primitive sc umbags. I would personally kill every Pakistani if I could.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:08 am | Reply
    • khan

      its funny that your saying that because everyone in Pakistan would like to do the same to americans for killing muslims around the world. You should look at the reality and the reality is US killed 24 Pakistani troops and do not want to apologize even though it was a mistake. If you do a mistake than you should be ready to face the consequences.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • bangash

      The comments of some Americans make me think they are terrorists.

      May 23, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
  4. dmf

    Pakistan ’s strategic interests demands for bold decisions on a whole range cooperation issues by political leadership
    , with the U. S. and NATO countries , allies in the war on terrorism . Pakistan has hugely suffered during last four years , by a very weak and corrupt civilian government , headed by president Zardari . The incompetent civilian government has miserably failed to deliver and provide economic opportunities , and has also lacked vision to provide relief , hope , expectations and confidence in Paksitan 's future . Pakistan needs to come out in support of her commitments , with courage and patience for positive outcome sooner than later in Afghanistan and the region . The trust deficit in U. S. – Pakistan relations needs to be bridged with , innovative confidence building measures , and mutual respect for strategic and security interests in the region of both the countries . This would be very challenging phase in U. S. – Pakistan relations in coming months and years .

    May 20, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Reply
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  6. Skorpio

    The best way to deal with Muslim countries is "An-Eye-For-An-Eye" using force, a stick or both. Soft negotiations, dialogue, empathy are signs of weakness and failure. If America wants to be successful with Muslim countries, we need to be perceived before Muslims as sob just like their Muslim monarchs and religious leaders.

    May 20, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
    • jr

      As Clint Eastwood would have said ...Go ahead make my day. Enough talk. Do it or shut up.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  7. obama's mission is RE-ELECTION ONLY

    Pakistan says no obama says we will continue talking , IN THE MEAN TIME OUR TROOPS WILL CONTINUE TO DIE.

    obama is only concerned with the election , and this nato meeting in Chicago is nothing more than window dressing , to make it appear he is on the job .

    May 20, 2012 at 7:53 am | Reply
  8. Paul

    A reasomable trade off for trade routes, short, expensive and safer. Long, cheap and dangerous; may need security to get through. Taken the second maybe best for everyone except for a few. The tribal lands are out of legitimate Paki control. They can not get control themselves for the short term. If nato can go into tribial lands it can rout the bad guys short term. That may be all that is needed before the upcoming election and the late withdrawl from the land of war.

    May 20, 2012 at 3:00 am | Reply
  9. Baqi Barzani

    This is just a pretext to distract public opinion. The reality is that both parties did not reach any agreement. Pakistan refused to cooperate.

    Kurdish Independence Movement

    May 20, 2012 at 3:00 am | Reply
  10. ChicagoRich

    We no longer really need that supply route. It would be nice to have the redundancy, but it is not required. I would simply cut all aid to the country if they do not allow aid through. They have to choose sides if they want our resources, either the terrorists or the civilized World. If they choose a side they should support it. If they choose the civilized world we should support them. If they choose the islamofacists we should treat them accordingly. Right now they are supporting the terrorists by allowing them free reign in Warizistan. Attacks on U.S. troops arising from that area amount to acts of war against us.

    May 19, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  11. Sajjad Sialkoti

    What is the problem. US have no money to pay? Pakistan can give you credit, Amigos.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  12. High Beta

    Brilliant move by Pakistan.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  13. Narayan from N.J.

    An apology would have been much cheaper for americans. They have learned nothing from us Indians. We would have bent down but not paid any money.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • sawolf

      The difference between serfs and FREE men.

      May 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  14. sawolf

    Make up the cost they charge by likewise increasing the cost of parts for their AMERICAN made aircraft, tough to fly F 16's without spare parts.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
    • Narayan from N.J.

      Why not. That is what americans have been doing. They made Pakistan pay up front and took 20 years to deliver F16s. that probably equates to 10 times its orignal cost. The problem is Pakistan is producing its own fighter jets now. They don't need F16s. All they need is to put the nukes in a fast plane and make a drop. Not for dog fights.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
      • sawolf

        So why have the pakis requested 36 F 16 C Block 50/52 ?

        May 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
      • Narayan from N.J.

        Like I said Pakistan paid for these 20 years ago and US would not reimburse the money nor deliver them till 9/11 happened and they needed Pakistan's help.Quid pro quo. Some of it was cash reimbursement converted to F!6s so that production could generate jobs in US factories. There is no free lunch in america. Now Pakistan did not want these but had no choice. The days of dogfights are long gone.

        May 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
      • sawolf

        You are extremely mis informed if you believe the days of the dog fight are gone.The US military believed that and removed guns from the airships of the Phantom II only to replace them and ALL current US fighter aircraft have vulcan cannon along with missiles, such as the AIM 9, expressly for air to air combat. Observe the "82 air war over the bekkah between Israel and syria. Air supremacy is crucial to any conflict. Your idea that a fast nuclear capable aircraft is all that is needed illustrates your lack of tactical knowledge. How will such airships deliver their payload if they are ALL shot down?

        May 19, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
      • Narayan from N.J.

        You are totally off base and hallucinating. I am talking coconuts and you guavas. I am referring to Pakistan not any other country. Look around Pakistan and see who they need to dog fight with. Therein lies the answer. This is a nuclear world in which Pakistan lives and their strategy is to drop nukes as quick as possible in places within a few hundred miles. By the time a dog fight happens, 500 million people would have already been dissipitated by nukes....god forbid. We agree to disagree.

        May 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
      • sawolf

        So why is India developing the AMCA? Nuclear delivery via aircraft when you have ballistic missiles is redundant and not likely to happen as air bases that have nuclear capable aircraft will be targeted. You stated the age of the dog fight was over, never explicitly stating the India/pakistan conflict. Although India is seeking a defensive system akin to the Arrow and pakistan doesn't have the technical capability. Again the aircraft have to get through squadrons of fighter aircraft to deliver their payload and Indian fighter pilots will have sufficient motivation to remove them from the sky. India most likely has an AWACS type of capability to look into pakistan as the aircraft with nukes leave their air fields, the Israelis had this capability in '82 and fighters were vectored onto the syrian airships as they were over their upwind numbers.While I don't have data on the weight of pakistan's nuclear bombs, they will slow their airships (drag/weight issues) Where we agree is that hopefully it NEVER happens. I flew for the US Navy about 30 years ago and therefore have some background, although dated.

        May 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  15. Jim Black

    I must say excellent move by Pakistan. No tickee no washee.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • jr

      Great one Jim !

      May 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  16. Heather Beckwith

    Why was Pakistan being demonized? They are willingly to help americans by opening up their infrastructure for transit but they have to be compensated for wear and tear. That is but logical. Pakistan should also be asking for advance and mobilization as well upfront.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  17. Amit _Arizona

    Since when couldn't americans afford to pay? They expect Pakistanis to fight their war and then pay for it also. Nonsense. US treasury should start printing more money to pay for it. Also, Congress could pass a bill or ask Pakistan for a rebate or a loan.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • jr

      Where is the US Congress now? Want transit..need to pay for it. Keep the apology ..pay the moolah !! Ha Ha Ha.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  18. rk

    pakis can demand any amount..but that makes any sense only if US decides to pay...US knows how to deal with backstabbing pakis...and besides what wil pakis do when US and nato wont be using their routes after 2014...??

    May 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • Heather Beckwith

      I was told that by then India will be in pieces and therefore the infrastructure can be used for transit to new states such as Khalistan, Maoistan, Keralastan, Kashmiristan. Does that answer your question, bubloo?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
    • amjad ali

      you are a racist hatemonger indian. get a life dude.

      as for the us, if they dont want to pay then thay should use some other route, were not forcing you to use our roads. its simple, if you want something pay for it.
      The us can stick the CSF and the lugar bill where it doesent shine, as every day the strings attached to seem to multiply. I think pakistan should refuse those corrupt payments and only charge for transportation fees. But as a caveat, increase those fees by at least 750% to make for any shortfall.

      May 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
      • sawolf

        Taking our tax dollars while training and arming those that kill our troops? Hiding bin laden, you apes are lucky we don't sublimate your cesspool of a country.

        May 20, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  19. T-Bone Thakur

    Thank you Pakistan for showing the willingness to open the transit route for allies. Of course, it is not for nothing. So USA needs to start ponying up the cost. Will Pakistan consider loaning the money to USA if they can't afford it?

    May 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  20. High Beta

    Maybe Indians (shylocks) can pony up half of it as they are the ones beneftting the most.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • Sanjay

      Thanks for confirming that you Pakistanis see us Indians as Shylocks

      May 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Reply
      • High Beta

        Ballyhoo !

        May 19, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  21. krm1007

    Welcome to capitalism. Free lunches are over. Time to pay up.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • rk

      hahhaa....its back to begging by the pakis...and goodbye soverignity and demand for US apology...hahahhha

      May 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
      • Heather Beckwith

        They have to apologize and pay also. It is the american way...maybe not the Indian baniyaa way.... but definitely the american way.

        May 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  22. Portland tony

    If NATO (US) can't agree on transit tolls with Pakistan, there's probably nothing left to agree on.

    May 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  23. brown

    Pakistan is not an ally of the U.S.A, we need to treat this country as unfriendly.

    May 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • Heather Beckwith

      Paksitan is member of NATO for Krishna's sake?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  24. Rock Maker

    Pakistanis are crooks, no friends of anyone

    May 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
    • Heather Beckwith

      They certainly won the Vietnam War for us in Afghanistan. thank you Pakistan.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
      • Sanjay

        I think the Pakistanis created the war by creating the Taliban who harbored Bin Laden, and then later harboring him on Pakistani soil directly.

        May 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
      • Halaku

        You got it all muddled up. India occupied Kashmir, genocide continues by Indians in Kashmir, the rest is reaction to Indian high handedness. India will end up giving up control of Kashmir as pullout strategy in Afghanistan within months. it is a done deal.

        May 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm |

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