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Pak seeks USD 2,000 transit fee for each NATO tanker

Lahore: Pakistan has reportedly demanded USD 1,800 to USD 2,000 as the fee for every NATO container truck and tanker during negotiations with the US for reopening supply routes for foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Earlier, the US had refused to accept Pakistan`s demand of USD 5000 a truck. Since then, negotiations have been underway and Pakistan has now proposed a fee of between USD 1,800 and USD 2,000.

"Once the deal is finalised, it will end the standoff between the US and Pakistan over the NATO supply routes, which started in November over the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a NATO air strike on Salala check post," a Pakistani government official told PTI. He said Pakistan could no longer bear the US pressure for reopening the NATO routes as the country`s financial interests were attached to the issue.

On the other hand, the Defa-e-Pakistan Council, a grouping of over 40 hardline and extremist groups cobbled together by Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, has warned that it would organise a "long march" if the federal government reopens the supply routes that were closed after the NATO air strike.

"We have also learnt that the Pakistani government has almost agreed to reopen the NATO routes by charging 2,000 dollars from the US for each truck," said Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hassan, who is part of the DPC.

He said Pakistan was facing "extreme pressure" from the US in this regard. "We think the government cannot sustain the American pressure and it will surely reopen the NATO supply routes in the near future," he said.

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