The Torkham custom officials have made all arrangements with regard to NATO supplies re-opening though the formal directives from the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) and the federal government are yet to be received, AC Custom Ubaid Ullah informed while talking to media persons at Torkham. APA Landikotal Khalid Kundi told this scribe that so far the administration had not received any orders about NATO supply’s resumption. The political administration of Torkham has not planned anything yet as the high ups have not intimated nor issued any directives so far, Tehsildar Torkham Meraj Khan said, adding PA Khyber would give instructions and guide lines about the future strategy how to deal with the NATO supplies’ trucks and oil tankers at Torkham.
The common tribesmen and the villagers have expressed fears and disappointment saying the tension would increase in the area and the law and order situation would go worse after the NATO/ ISAF supplies go through Khyber Pass. The Pakistani government and the army had halted the NATO /ISAF supplies to Afghanistan in protest after the US war planes’ shelling at Salala post in Mohmand Agency where 24 army soldiers of Pakistan had been killed on November 26, 2011. The federal cabinet and the defense committee under the chairmanship of the prime minister of Pakistan Raja Pervaiz Ashraf have reportedly agreed to allow the NATO supplies through Pakistani routes after the US secretary of Stateformally sought apology on the US planes’ attack on Salala post.
Tehsildar Torkham Meraj Khan has made it clear that so far the administration at Torkham has not obtained any formal directives from the high ups with regard to security of the NATO supply trucks and oil tankers but has got some gestures from government decision. The security forces and the Khyber Khasadar Force will jointly adopt security measures at various terminals at Torkham to maintain the law and order situation, he said, adding security personnel’s strength may be increased. On the other hand the Custom officials at Torkham said that they were mentally prepared how to deal with the NATO supplies at Torkham terminals, adding that the supply would take three to four days from Karachi port to reach Torkham border crossing, which is enough time.
The common tribesmen, shopkeepers and the villagers have expressed their fears and disappointment over the resumption of the NATO supplies through Khyber Pass, saying the road sides bomb explosions would again be resumed by unknown militants to target the NATO supplies, which may harm their properties and lives. We shall be in trouble and suffer a lot after the NATO supplies begin, Afzal Mir Afridi said. A driver said, “I have bought a truck with four million when I heard that NATO supplies would be allowed.” The Khasadar Force personnel were also found upset and terrified on the resumption of the NATO supplies through Pakistan, arguing they would have to be awake day night amid the security threats Khyber Pass.
Meanwhile the Khyber Transport Union president Shakir Afridi has opined that the tribal transporters would not initiate the NATO supplies until and unless the fares of the supplies are increased and the security is provided to the transporters. On the other hand a spokesman of TTP also called media from an unkonwn location saying that TTP's fighters would also adopt a new strategy to target the NATO supplies going through Pakistan, arguing that US led NATO forces were involved in killing the innocent Muslims both in Afghanistan and the tribal regions. He also urged the masses in Pakistan to stand against the resumption of the NATO supplies to stop it.