Pakistan Allows NATO to Ship Food to Afghanistan

Posted February 14th, 2012 at 10:50 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistan says it has temporarily allowed NATO to ship perishable food to its troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

The decision comes less than three months after Pakistan closed its border to NATO supply convoys crossing into Afghanistan, following a coalition cross-border attack that killed 24 Pakistani troops last November.

Pakistani Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar said Tuesday that his government would allow NATO to use Pakistani airspace to fly perishable items into Afghanistan for a limited time. The minister said he has asked the coalition not to order any more perishable supplies, such as food.

U.S.-Pakistan relations were brought to a new low following the deadly November 26 attack on two Pakistani military outposts along the Afghan border.

The development comes as authorities in Pakistan briefly detained a U.S. Embassy employee Tuesday, after airport security officials found bullets in his luggage.

Officials say the American was about to fly from the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar to the capital, Islamabad, when he was taken into police custody.

He was released to the U.S. consulate after a few hours.

A U.S. official said the man was an embassy employee and had diplomatic immunity. The official said the U.S. Embassy was in contact with Pakistani authorities about the details of the case.

The presence of American personnel in Pakistan has been a sensitive issue since January of last year, when CIA contractor Raymond Davis was arrested in the eastern city of Lahore for the killing of two Pakistanis.

U.S. officials maintained that Davis had diplomatic immunity, but Pakistani authorities refused to release him for nearly two months.