Pakistan eyes leftover US military equipment in Afghanistan

Nato Supply Reuters

With the US and Pakistani officials engaged in crucial talks on the use of NATO supply lines running through Pakistan for the withdrawal of US-led western troops from Afghanistan, Islamabad may seek an agreement with Washington for the purchase of the leftover military equipment.
Currently, Islamabad and Washington are engaged in talks through diplomatic channels to sort out issues related to the use of NATO supply routes through Pakistani soil for the withdrawal of thousands of troops and military equipment, like the security of supplies and also what material could be transited and what could not.
The talks are mainly aimed at a smooth and safe transit of NATO supplies through Pakistan once thousands of vehicles start moving out of Afghanistan for which a deadline of 2014 has been set by the United States. As the US and its allies shape up its plan for the troops’ withdrawal, reports in western media suggest that some regional states like Uzbekistan have showed interest in clinching a deal with the United States for the supply of war leftovers and in return the western powers would be provided with the roads.
According to one such report that appeared in New York Times recently, Uzbek officials have quietly contacted American, German and British officials with the offer, in their latest bid to supplement their military despite international embargoes.
Diplomatic sources privy to latest developments on the front of US-Pakistan relations said like Uzbekistan, Pakistan might also seek an agreement with the United States for the supply of military equipment that the US-led western forces could not take back from Afghanistan.
They said that just like Iraq where the US troops had to face high costs of shipping the used military equipment, which even exceeded their real value, the US authorities could face the same situation in Afghanistan.
“Such situation in Afghanistan is likely to compel the US to seek alternatives and one such alternative could be to sell the leftover military equipment to Islamabad. After all the US authorities would not like these latest weapons and equipment to fall into the hands of the Taliban,” said a source, seeking anonymity.
He said Pakistan might also show interest in the purchase of some war leftovers that it believed were vital for boosting its defense capabilities.
A Pakistani official confirmed the talks being held with the US for the use of NATO supply routes for the US led foreign troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and all related matters. However, he did not comment on the possibility of talks for a deal between Islamabad and Washington for the sale of war leftovers to Pakistan.
He said Pakistan and the US were key allied nations in the anti-terrorism global campaign and it was hoped that they would be able to work out a mutually acceptable mechanism for the use of NATO supply lines for the troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.