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NATO vehicles caused Rs.150 bn damage to Pakistan highways

Thursday December 29, 2011 12:01:10 PM, IANS

Islamabad: Pakistan has calculated that vehicles carrying NATO supplies in containers caused damage worth Rs.150 billion to its highways over the past 10 years.

Communications Minister Arbab Alamgir Khan told Dawn that the National Highways Authority (NHA) carried out a survey to assess the cost of the damage.

The survey showed that NATO vehicles caused Rs.15 billion worth of damage every year to national highways and the total damage from 2002 to 2011 was calculated at a staggering Rs.150 billion.

Islamabad blocked the NATO supplies passing through Pakistan following the Nov 26 NATO airstrike in Mohmand Agency that left two dozen soldiers dead. An outraged Pakistan had also boycotted an international conference in Bonn that focussed on Afghanistan's future and directed the US to vacate the key Shamsi airbase that was used to launch drone strikes.

Arbab said they have written to the Foreign Office and the Planning Commission about the damage and asked them to take up the matter with NATO in Afghanistan.

The minister said roads and highways in Pakistan were not designed to bear such extensive load.

NATO containers and oil tankers weighing 60-70 tonnes use three main routes -- Karachi-Kalat-Quetta-Chaman, Karachi-Dera Ghazi Khan-Dera Ismail Khan-Kohat-Peshawar-Torkham and the Grand Trunk Road from Karachi to Peshawar via Lahore.






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