US in talks with Pak for reopening NATO supply route following air strike standoff

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Washington, Oct 1 (ANI): The Pentagon has expressed hope that Pakistan would reopen the key supply route for US-led forces in Afghanistan, which was closed in retaliation against air strikes staged by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Pakistani territory.

The Pentagon is holding talks with Pakistani officials to resolve the issue of blocking NATO supply trucks at a checkpoint bordering Afghanistan, after Islamabad shut down the route, accusing them of killing Pakistani troops in the fourth cross-border attack this week, The News reported.

"We are in discussions with the Pakistani government and hope we can resolve the issue through discussion," Colonel Dave Lapan said.

He said it was "too soon" to assess the impact from the Pakistani move of suspending supply convoys along the Khyber Pass route, which links Peshawar in Pakistan with Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan.

"As you all know, we have many different capabilities, routes, ways to resupply, so there's no immediate impact," Lapan added.

US officials were also discussing if procedures and protocols were correctly followed in the recent cross-border incidents, the colonel said, adding that any rifle fire at the aircrafts would likely have been treated as "hostile" fire by the allied forces.

Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley has also played down the closing of the supply route, saying that the border incident was under examination.

"There has been an incident along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. We take seriously our responsibilities as a partner, there's a review ongoing," Crowley stated. (ANI)

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