US has to pay Pakistan $45m for using roads for US-led Nato supplies to Afghanistan

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ISLAMABAD: Washington is in default of Islamabad for failure to pay $45 million charges against using the road network for the US-led Nato supplies for Afghanistan. The said amount is due from the US since 2013. This disclosure was made in a meeting here on Pakistan-Afghanistan Transit Trade few days ago.

Senior military officials also attended the meeting and were quoted by top mandarins as disclosing that the US owes $45 million to Pakistan against the usage of roads infrastructure for the US-led Nato supplies from 2013. Pakistan’s civil and military authorities are currently weighing options at highest level how to respond if the Trump administration comes up with more cuts in assistance and to this effect a very crucial meeting was held in Islamabad for making the routes being used for Afghan transit trade with facilities at par with international standards to charge transit fee from commercial and non-commercial vehicles.

“The authorities concerned under the then Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani after Salala attack by the US-led Nato forces on November 26, 2011 martyring 28 Pakistan soldiers changed the mind and decided to charge the transit fee on US and Nato vehicles and to this effect both sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU),” sources quoted the participants of the meeting as saying. Under this head, the US is to pay $45 million from 2013, however, Washington says the payable amount stands at $15 million. In the meeting, civil and military authorities gave input on making transit route for Afghanistan equipped with facilities ensuring transit fee from commercial and non-commercial vehicles and they would be charged as per the international standards and the said fee will be other than the toll fee.

Officials said the roadmap is currently being made how and when to make the roads network leading to Afghanistan as per international standards along with modern facilities. In the meeting, military officials said, “Leave it to us how to handle the non-commercial vehicles on transit route for Afghanistan with regard to fixing the ratio of transit fee.”

It may not be out of place to mention that not a single penny has been charged so far from the commercial vehicles for transit trade with Afghanistan under Pakistan-Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement and before Salala incident there has also been no charging from the vehicles used for US and Nato supplies in Afghanistan. The sources while quoting military officials also disclosed that the MoU or agreement with Nato forces for charging fee has also been elapsed and needs to be renewed.

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