ISLAMABAD - NATO truckers late Tuesday welcomed Pakistan’s decision to reopen supply lines into Afghanistan, but demanded security guarantees before the resumption as Taliban militants threatened to attack supply trucks.
The Pakistani Taliban threatened to attack NATO supply trucks and kill its drivers if they tried to resume supplies to troops in Afghanistan, a spokesman said. Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP that the Taliban “will not allow any truck to pass and will attack it,” hours after Pakistan confirmed it had decided to reopen vital NATO supply routes into Afghanistan which have been closed since November.
Mir Mohammad Yousuf Shahwani, head of the largest oil tanker owners association in Pakistan, told AFP that supply trucks and tankers could be en route in “days” but insisted they needed protection first. “It is a sudden decision but even then we can start supplies in days. The thing is, who will protect us,” Shahwani said. “We need security, we need protection. Taliban have killed dozens of our drivers and torched hundreds of vehicles,” he added. Pakistani Taliban have carried out dozens of attacks, disrupting supplies for 130,000 US-led international troops fighting in Afghanistan, and have repeatedly warned of more if Pakistan reopened supply routes.