The Pakistan Foreign Ministry said it decided to reopen the border after assessing security and that authorities on both sides of the border were coordinating to resume the supply traffic smoothly
Pakistan on Saturday decided to reopen the Torkham border post for vehicles ferrying goods and oil to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan; ending a 10-day-old blockade over violation of air space by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) aircraft.
The lifting of the blockade was announced by the Foreign Office in the evening. In a statement, the Foreign Office said: "After assessing the security situation in all its aspects, the Government has decided to reopen the NATO/ISAF supply from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Torkham with immediate effect. Our relevant authorities are now in the process of coordinating with authorities on the other side of the border to ensure smooth resumption of the supply traffic."
The decision comes three days after the U.S. apologised for the aerial bombing on a Frontier Corps (FC) post in Kurram Agency on the morning of September 30 in which two personnel were killed and four others injured. Though violation of airspace had begun earlier in the week, the killing of FC personnel evoked a sharp response from Pakistan.
That very day, the Torkham border post in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa was shut down for ISAF/NATO vehicles, purportedly because security could not be assured in view of the public ire over the violation of territorial integrity. Subsequent days have seen attacks on ISAF/NATO vehicles in various parts of the country. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for some of these attacks.
And, for the past couple of days, ISAF/NATO vehicles reportedly began encountering systemic problems at the Chaman border post in Balochistan also as they were refused exit into Afghanistan on the premise that their documents were not in order.
As the stand-off between Pakistan and NATO continued, a joint probe was conducted into the aerial bombing on the FC post and it was established that U.S. helicopters had mistaken FC personnel to be insurgents they were pursuing. The U.S. apologised for what it described as a "terrible mistake" but Pakistan Foreign Office said a final decision on reopening the Torkham border post would be taken only after reviewing the security situation.
Barring weapons — which are mostly flown in — much of the supplies and fuel for the NATO-led ISAF is taken over land through Pakistan after they arrive by ship in Karachi.