Supply trucks will soon cross the Pakistan-Afghan border, marking the reopening of NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, after Pakistan acknowledged an apology from Washington, reports the Wall Street Journal.
According to a statement from the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar that the US was “sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military.” The wording of the apology was carefully written to exclude the word “apologize”, officials said. The November 26 incident which caused the deaths of twenty four Pakistani troops remains a flashpoint in ties between the two countries. Pakistan, nevertheless, accepted the apology and agreed to reopen supply lines.
The shutting down of supply lines cost the US $100 million extra a month for bringing in supplies through air and expensive land routes through Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus, according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. The apology came after realizations that the land routes is also crucial to withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
The US will also continue to give military aid worth more than $1 billion after it was suspended when Pakistan closed down the supply routes.