America

Pakistan Closes Border Crossing In Protest Of Cross Border Strikes

trucks at pak/afhgan border

Afghanistan-bound NATO trucks are parked at a roadside as authorities blocked NATO supply line to Afghanistan near Pak-Afghan border on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010. Qazi Rauf/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Qazi Rauf/AP

This morning Pakistan closed the Torkham crossing into Afghanistan, a vital supply route for NATO forces.

NPR's Quil Lawrence reports from Kabul that NATO soldiers came under fire this morning near the border. Then they saw a group they believed to be insurgents, in an area they thought was inside Afghanistan. They called in helicopter strike.

Soon after, Pakistani officials protested a Pakistani border force had come under fire, and three of their guards had been killed. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Islamabad that, if confirmed, this is fourth NATO incursion onto Pakistani territory in recent days. Pakistani media yesterday quoted an ex-Chief of Army Staff saying Pakistani forces should start firing back at NATO aircraft.

Pakistan closed the important Torkham crossing near Peshawar to NATO supply convoys today, although the southern crossing near Chaman in the south remained open.

Marine Col. Dave Lapan at the Pentagon told NPR's Rachel Martin that the US has other options:

We hope the Torkham closure is temporary and are talking with the Pakistanis to resolve the issue. But as you know, we have multiple means and routes to supply our forces in Afghanistan.

There are occasional stoppages of transit for various reasons, but transit through Pakistan is something we are very appreciative of and shows that we are partners as we will continue to be.

There is also a northern supply route into Afghanistan, and tons of equipment are flown in each day as well.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.