Eight die in Pakistan offensive against militants in the Khyber Pass
The effort, launched on the main supply route to Afghanistan, has suspended supplies sent to US and NATO forces there.
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According to AFP, the International Security Assistance Force has not reacted strongly to the suspension of NATO supplies on Tuesday.Skip to next paragraph
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A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, contacted in Kabul, said the Pakistani army offensive had thus far had "no impact" on foreign forces.
"We know about the operation but our information through our logistics experts is that there is no impact on our supplies," British Royal Navy Captain Mark Windsor told AFP.
Since September the Taleban in Pakistan have targeted vehicles carrying supplies for foreign forces in Afghanistan.
They have hijacked lorries, stolen their cargo and kidnapped their drivers.
Some lorry drivers recently suspended organised convoys to Afghanistan due to the worsening security although some supplies did continue under heavy paramilitary guard.
The NATO supply line from Pakistan to Afghanistan has been interrupted previously. On Dec. 15, Pakistani goods carriers announced they would no longer transport supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan owing to the security threat posed by militants, reported Reuters.
"We have stopped supplies for NATO forces for security reasons," said Noor Khan Niazi, president of the Karachi Goods Carriers Association. His members truck most Western military supplies from Karachi port to depots on the outskirts of northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. From there, Peshawar-based truckers take the goods through the Khyber Pass to the border crossing at Torkham.
"They are killing drivers and destroying everything. We have sent nothing for the last eight to 10 days," Niazi said.
More than 300 NATO supply vehicles have been attacked by Taliban militants this month. The largest attack occurred on Dec. 7 near Peshawar when some 200 militants torched more than 160 vehicles bound for Afghanistan. According to The Christian Science Monitor, the attack marked "an intensification of a militant strategy: attacking US and NATO supply lines. Some 70 percent of their equipment in Afghanistan comes through Pakistan."
The Pakistani government had previously suspended supply lines for NATO forces in Afghanistan on Sept. 6, when the security situation initially worsened, reported The Daily Times, a Pakistani daily.
"All Afghanistan-bound supplies for the International Security Assistance Force have been stopped as the [Torkham] highway is vulnerable," Khyber Agency Political Agent Tariq Hayat told Daily Times, dismissing the impression that the decision is a reaction to continued United States attacks in Waziristan.