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US war effort being hampered by military equipment for Afghan army stranded in Pak'

Washington, Wed, 02 May 2012 ANI

Washington, May 2 (ANI): Thousands of tons of American military equipment intended for the Afghan army and police forces is stranded in Pakistan, as Islamabad refuses to reopen ground supply routes for NATO convoys despite increasing pressure from Washington, according to a new Pentagon report.

The report stresses that unless Pakistan reopens the routes, Afghan army units will face "increasing shortages of equipment, particularly of vehicles."

"Lack of access to the routes is 'a strategic concern' that 'will also significantly' hamper the U.S. military's ability to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan over the next three years," the report added.

Pakistan barred NATO convoys in November after U.S. forces opened fire on two Pakistan border posts, killing 24 army men.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the report, a regular assessment of U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan, also gave a largely positive assessment of the war, saying that violence levels from October to March are lower in most parts of the country compared with the same period a year earlier.

"Afghan army and police units, which are due to take over the main combat role in late 2014 from the U.S. and its allies are improving," it said.

The report, however, noted that the campaign still faces 'long-term and acute challenges' unless Pakistan moves against Taliban sanctuaries along the border and the Afghan government curtails corruption and takes other steps to improve its popularity with ordinary Afghans. (ANI)

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