ISLAMABAD: Defence Committee of Cabinet (DCC) is due to hold a meeting on Tuesday to finalize the resumption of NATO supply routes, sources said.
The sources said that if the DCC decided to re-open Nato supplies then there would be more chances for Pakistan to participate in the vital Nato Summit on future of Afghanistan to be held in Chicago on May 20-21.
The sources said the US was continuously pressurising Pakistan to re-open Nato supply.
The sources said that leadership has also decided that Nato supply route would be restored after imposition of a tax on each container transporting goods for Nato forces in Afghanistan.
However, Pakistan is also facing economic difficulties towards Budget 2012-13.
In this regard, the country would need Coalition Support Fund from the US for budgetary support.
On Monday, Foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar suggested that the country should reopen its Afghan border to NATO troop supplies, saying the government has made its point by closing the route for nearly six months in retaliation for U.S. air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops.
Reopening the border risks a domestic backlash in Pakistan given Washington’s refusal to apologize for last year’s attack, which it says was an accident. But it could help ensure Pakistan has a role in the future of Afghanistan as NATO prepares to retool its strategy there during a major conference that starts Sunday in Chicago.
Pakistan’s presence would benefit the U.S.-led coalition as well, since the country is seen as key to striking a peace deal with the Taliban and their allies in Afghanistan that would allow foreign troops to withdraw without the nation descending into further chaos.
The supply line running through Pakistan to landlocked Afghanistan will be central to that withdrawal as NATO pulls out more than a decade’s worth of equipment. It has been critical for shipping in supplies as well, although the United States has reduced its reliance on Pakistan in recent years by using a more costly route through Central Asia.
Some sources also claimed that the Petroleum Ministry officials told the tankers dealers and drivers to fear up as the NATO supply route will probably be opened by Wednesday evening.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said the government made the right decision to close the border to NATO to send a message to Washington that the attack on its troops in November was unacceptable.
“It was important to make a point. Pakistan has made a point and now we can move on,” Khar said at a news conference in Islamabad when asked whether she believed Pakistan should reopen the supply route.
The United States welcomed Khar’s comments, but said the two countries have yet to reach a final deal.