State Department Regular Briefing
12:49 p.m. EDT Date: Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Q: A team of U.S. officials — (inaudible) — in Pakistan for negotiating with them on reopening of the ground — GLOCs. Do you know what the status is right now? Have they agreed to reopen the routes?
MS. NULAND: I don’t have any update except to say that we are continuing to work on these issues with the government of Pakistan. As you know, that would follow on the visit that Ambassador Grossman had to Pakistan. And as you know, we’re still seeking to come to an arrangement on how we can get the GLOCs open. We think it’s important for us, it’s important for a peaceful, stable situation in Afghanistan, and it’s obviously — that would be in Pakistan’s interests as well.
Q: And also, has the U.S. agreed to the taxes — new taxes being asked by Pakistan for — (inaudible) — that passes through their territory for Afghanistan?
MS. NULAND: Well, again, you’re taking me into the details of an — of a discussion with the government of Pakistan that is ongoing. So I think I’m not going to comment on the details.
Defense Department Briefing from Afghanistan
British Army Lieutenant General Adrian Bradshaw,
Deputy Commander, International Security Assistance Force
9:59 a.m. EDT Date: Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Q: General, I’m Carl Osgood; I write for Executive Intelligence Review. Two questions about Pakistan. One is what’s this — you’ve talked about the Taliban, but you haven’t mentioned the Haqqani networks and operations in the East. Secondly, my understanding is that the supply routes are still closed through Pakistan. Can you comment on those?
STAFF (?): You just lost the — (audio break) –
GEN. BRADSHAW: — the Haqqani network has been trying to do over the past 12 months is get attacks into Kabul and, in that, they’ve manifestly failed for most of the vast majority of their efforts. We did have one attack into town — a complex attack on the 15th and 16th of April, which I think people know about it. I think they also know how well the Afghan national security forces contained what was a largely ineffective attack and dealt with it very efficiently. But I think the point to note is that — (audio break) — and they either fizzled out of their own accord or a very large number of them were disrupted by the Afghan intelligence services and by a combination of Afghan national security forces and coalition efforts, resulting in the capture of over 300 people, the deaths of over a hundred insurgents. So I would say that, again, we still have to deal with the Haqqani threat, and we treat it very seriously, but they are not succeeding in doing what they’re attempting to do.
STAFF: And you had a second question?
Q: Yeah, we got cut off. I had a second question on the NATO supply routes through Pakistan, if there’s anything you can tell us about the status of that situation.
GEN. BRADSHAW: Yes. I can tell you that we’re currently in talks with our Pakistan colleagues on how we might get those routes open. Clearly we’re managing very well without them, but on the other hand, it would be extremely helpful for us if we had access to them. And clearly, the Pakistanis would derive some financial benefit from that as well. So between us, we hope to get through the problems that we’ve encountered which caused the closure, which were highly regrettable, and get back on an even keel. But I have to tell you that in our talks — our ongoing talks with our Pakistan military colleagues, there is, you know, the rebuilding of a very good relationship there. We’ve got a common interest in addressing the terrorist insurgent problem that crosses the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. And things are moving in the right direction there.