All containers passing through Pakistan to supply NATO troops in Afghanistan are to be scanned to ensure they do not contain lethal supplies, customs officials said Friday.
Islamabad reopened overland routes to NATO convoys earlier this week after closing them in protest at a US air raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at a border post in November.
A number of trucks have already crossed into Afghanistan, but the vast majority are still at the Arabian Sea port of Karachi, where they have languished for the past seven months.
Ties between Washington and Islamabad, fractious allies in the “war on terror”, plummeted following the air strike and blockade, which ended after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said sorry for the deaths.
The two sides are still rebuilding trust and officials in Karachi, where thousands of trucks and containers languished during the blockade, said there would be thorough checks to ensure the convoys conformed to Pakistani parliamentary guidelines barring the transport of lethal supplies.
“We scanned the containers randomly in the past, but now every container will be duly scanned,” Karachi customs spokesman Qamar Thalho said.
“We can seize any item, anything that be, if it is not mentioned in the agreements between Pakistan and Afghanistan and Pakistan and NATO.”
An official speaking on condition of anonymity said the move was intended to stymie opposition parties and religious groups — who have criticised the resumption of supplies.
“A strict scanning of the cargo is just one important measure not to give enough space to the opposition to exploit public sentiments,” the official said.
Up to 1,500 trucks packed with NATO supplies have been stranded in Karachi during the blockade, unable to unload and find other work.
Rana Mohammad Aslam, vice president of the All Pakistan Goods Carrier Association, said 560,000 rupees ($6,000) compensation per vehicle would be paid to the truck owners by NATO subcontractors.
The land routes into Afghanistan are vital as the United States and NATO withdraw troops and equipment built up since the 2001 invasion.
The blockade had forced the United States and its allies to rely on longer, more expensive routes through Central Asia, Russia and the Caucasus, costing the US military about $100 million a month, according to the Pentagon.
In extreme crises, conservatism can turn to fascism. Here’s how that might play out
5 movie "Back to the Future," Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) travels in a time machine from the 1980s to the 1950s. When he tells people of the '50s he is from the '80s, he is met with skepticism.
1950s person: Then tell me, future boy, who's President of the United States in 1985?
This article first appeared at Salon.com.Marty McFly: Ronald Reagan.
1950s person: Ronald Reagan? The actor? [chuckles in disbelief] Then who's vice president? Jerry Lewis [comedian]?
Who are the young people behind the Catalonia protest violence?
The violent protests that have swept Catalonia over the jailing of nine separatist leaders have involved veteran anarchists and youthful troublemakers as well as outraged separatists, some of whom became radicalised only recently.
"I am 24, have a masters and a job and I never imagined myself setting fire to a barricade with my face masked," said one protester who gave her name only as Aida.
She has joined in protests every day since they erupted in the region after Spain's Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to up to 13 years in jail for sedition over a failed 2017 independence bid.
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Last week, President Donald Trump met with Democrats at the White House to discuss the way both sides could work to fix the President's mistakes in Syria. Democrats left the White House saying that the President had another meltdown during the meeting, which prompted Trump to claim Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the one who had a meltdown. He then posted photos of Pelosi sitting quietly and another photo of Pelosi standing and pointing at him.
Body language expert Dr. Jack Brown posted the photo and gave his own analysis of what he believed was happening in the photo.
"When a person has little or no empathy — and/or when they're far from their emotional baseline, their ability to interpret how others will view an event becomes dramatically distorted," Brown explained Sunday. "Rarely has this behavioral axiom been better exemplified than last Wednesday at the White House."