Following mishaps during a U.S. air raid last November, resulting in the death of 24 Pakistan soldiers, Pakistan has reopened its borders to NATO supply convoys serving Afghanistan. The seven-month blockade of essential supply routes increased already heightened tensions between both countries and forced the U.S. and its allies to rely on longer and more expensive routes through Asia, Russia, and the Caucasus.
The lift comes as a relief to both countries, as well as their respective NATO allies. Pakistan’s new prime minster, Raja Pervez Arshaf, acknowledged that continuation of the blockade would damage relations with the U.S. and other NATO states. Similarly, the U.S. and its NATO allies have indicated the supply routes are essential for the planned withdrawal of combat forces from Afghanistan through 2014. The move has received positive reception from political leaders, who say it is a commitment to improving relations and securing a brighter future for both Afghanistan and the region at large.
The blockade was costing the U.S. military roughly $100 million a month.
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