Blocking Nato Supply

In the last couple of weeks we saw PTI activists and perform the task of physically blocking the Nato Supply routes to Afghanistan, in protest against drone strikes and ‘the resulting civil war in Pakistan.’

Whether this protest is lodged with US or PML-N, I don’t see it achieving anything but political mileage for PTI. PML-N government already shares, by and large, the viewpoint that the PTI has on the issue of terror. It also agrees with it on the issue of drones.

Afghanistan is not just a war ravaged country but also a land-locked one. It gets its food supplies from different routes, the principal amongst them being Pakistan. To put things in perspective, the import-export associations, who are staging a protest of their own against the PTI’s strikes, say that the number of containers of fruits and vegetables that cross the border ranges from 450 in the off-season to 2,000 in the peak season. That figure has now dribbled down to 50 to 100. This is a course of action that is not really going to stop the drone strikes. it is only going to make NATO’s logistical costs only marginally greater if they were to start employing any other routes. But it would certainly lead to food insecurity in Afghanistan.

Not only is Pakistan’s target of export to Afghanistan ($2 billion) not going to be met, but even the tax revenue stream that the transit trade was going to provide the provincial government, one that the latter has itself accounted for in its budget, is not going to be met.

20:10 hours
Saturday 14 December 2013

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