Start the rails: Of the NATO supply route

Published: May 23, 2012

It is high time our government strikes a deal with the US-led Nato forces for the benefit of common people and the railways. PHOTO: AFP

About six months have passed since the tragic incident at Salala by the US-led Nato forces followed by the closure of Nato supply routes to Afghanistan through Pakistan.

All major parties, except government allies, found an opportunity to shine their politics on the issue. They would not tire of announcing large-scale protests and long marches if the government opened the route.

On the other hand, the US and Nato are repeatedly asking Pakistan to open the route which means that either there is no alternative for them to take equipment to their forces or it is more expensive to export it through other routes using Central Asian channels.

No doubt, it is a bold step on the part of our rulers to protest against the aggression of Nato forces, but it is also a fact that at the end, we have to resume the supply lines as war-torn Pakistan is not in a position to go into isolation.

As containers were transported via the road route, it was not well-defined who was benefitting from the income received from each container transported to Afghanistan. The heavy transport has made our roads insufferable, with no compensation received per se.

It is also learnt that Pakistan demanded $5,000 transit fees per container instead of $250 currently applied which was rejected by the US and its allies.

So, it is recommended that coalition, opposition and other parties come up with a simple and effective solution that can be directly beneficial for our country’s economy to get out of this situation.

Since our railways have become history, why not take steps towards resuming Nato supply lines using our railways? Transportation via railway is much more economical if Nato supply lines are delivered from Karachi to Khyber via rail route.

According to Mussarat Ahmad Zeb, a royal family member and social activist from Swat Valley, our country’s economy is in jeopardy and the debt is increasing day by day due to incompetent hands. Thus, it is high time our government strikes a deal with the US-led Nato forces for the benefit of common people and the railways.


fazal.khaliq

Fazal Khaliq

A reporter for The Express Tribune in Swat.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

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