It said Pakistan’s decision, after months of political posturing and delicate negotiations, is likely to ease strains between Washington and Islamabad. For its renewed cooperation, Pakistan would reap higher tariffs and a payout of at least $1.3 billion in withheld “coalition support funds” for its contribution to the fight against Islamist militants.
The newspaper said agreement will not provide Pakistan the full apology it wants for an incident in which US fighter jets and helicopters mistakenly bombed two outposts on the border with Afghanistan in November, killing 24 Pakistani soldiers. The deaths prompted Pakistan to seal the borders.
On the macroeconomic level, the paper said Islamabad needs help, too. The $1.3 billion has been penciled into the proposed budget.
The paprer said there are other beneficiaries. It said the Pakistani military indirectly controls 30 percent of the Nato oil tanker contracts, according to local transporter associations. The military, which played the key role in the Nato-provisioning negotiations with U.S. and Afghan army commanders last weekend, declined to comment on its share of the supply business.
Tribal-area militants will profit, too: They demand protection money from the companies that haul the freight. And they launch attacks to get their slice of what’s inside the steel sea-shipping containers that begin their journey at the port of Karachi and travel hundreds of miles through perilous territory.
“Even the Taliban is the beneficiary. . . . They get weapons and ammunition when they attack the containers,” the paper quoted a a black-market trader in Nato goods.