Pak's NATO supply route blockade did not slow us down: ISAF commander
Islamabad, May 17 (ANI): A top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan pointing to indications that Pakistan is preparing to open cross-border NATO supply lines into Afghanistan, however has claimed that the NATO supply route blockade did not slow them down.
"I will tell you the effect of the closure of that route on the campaign has not slowed us at all," The News quoted Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), as saying.
"The air bridge into Afghanistan and the flow of material across the Northern Distribution Network were modulated in a way that continued to support the campaign in every operational respect," he added.
He also expressed hope to improve relations between the U.S. and Pakistan after the resumption of the NATO supplies.
Relations between ISAF and Pakistan have been strained since a November 26 air raid near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan closed ISAF ground supply lines into Afghanistan in response.
"I would say that over the next several months, we may well see, between ISAF and the Afghan national security forces and the Pakistani military, an ability to work very closely to ensure that we can coordinate operations along the border," General Allen said, ensuring an avoidance of any new cross-border incidents.
General Allen said he believes there could "conceivably" be coordinated operations between ISAF, Afghanistan and Pakistan to ensure "a stable, peaceful and secure Afghanistan".
"My hope is, in the weeks and months ahead, we can leverage all of that opportunity for common ground, both to improve the relationship at a policy level, but certainly to improve the military to military relationship as well," he said. (ANI)
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