NATO’s lorries are rumbling into Afghanistan again using the most direct route via Pakistan after a seven-month ban.
It follows a US refusal to apologise for the deaths in November of 24 Pakistani soldiers in an airstrike that went wrong.
On Tuesday Hillary Clinton satisfied Islamabad’s demands for an apology, and now the huge task of unpicking the jigsaw of tankers and heavy vehicles at the border wanting to resume the massive supply operation can begin.
“I’m taking a NATO cargo to Peshawar where it will be shifted onto lorries and continue to Kabul. Our responsibility ends in Peshawar. Other trucks take over from there,” said one driver.
During the ban NATO had to hump its thousands of tons of fuel and gear the long way, via the north. It took ages, and was two and half times more expensive.
NATO’s use of aircraft and drones along and inside Pakistan’s borders with Afghanistan has led to a number of civilian and military deaths. They have increasing the pressure on the Pakistani government to end its alliance with America, facing accusations it has surrendered the nation’s sovereignty.